Batty v. Albertelli

Federal District Court for Massachusetts

Challenge to firearms license restrictions that prohibit the possession, carrying, or use of firearms for personal protection

Filed February 2, 2015

Batty v. Albertelli  challenges the wide-spread practice of restricting the lawful possession, use, and carrying of firearms in such a way as to deny plaintiffs the ability to use or carry a firearm for personal protection. 

Possession of a firearm in Massachusetts is unlawful unless one holds a firearms license issued by to the police chief in the town in which they live.  In issuing firearms licenses, each of the state's 351 police chiefs are authorized to impose restrictions relative the the use, possession, or carrying of firearms by the license holder.  By restricting the plaintiffs' use, possession, and carrying of firearms to purposes such as "sporting", "target", or "hunting" the defendants' have denied plaintiffs the ability to possess a firearm for self-defense, a fundamental right guaranteed by the Second Amendment ot the United States Constitution.

The lawsuit seeks a declaratory ruling that the Massachusetts statute and the practice of the defendants is unconstitutional as it denies otherwise qualified citizens the ability possess or carry an operable firearm for the purpose of personal protection. Comm2A and the individual plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David Jensen and Patrick M. Groulx. The towns sued in this case are Lowell, New Bedford and Winchester. 

NB: Batty et al v. Albertelli et al is a continuation of Davis v. Grimes and much of that cases' procedural and case history is applicable to this case. 

Status:

2/24/2017 - District Court Loss: Opinion

In short, the policy that requires applicants to show a specific reason to fear in order to be issued unrestricted firearm licenses, and its authorizing statute, are constitutional.

Accordingly, the placing of target and hunting restrictions on the licenses of applicants who do not show good reason to fear injury is substantially related to the important governmental objective of public safety, and therefore does not violate the Second Amendment.

Updates: