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

United States District Court — District of Massachusetts (Boston)

Filed: February 4, 2016

Status:  Petition for writ of certiorari pending before the US Supreme Court

Plaintiffs filed their petition for certiorari on April 1, 2019 (18-1271).  The Commonwealth’s response is due December 9, 2019.  The justices reviewed the petition on June 6, 2019 but took no action. 

Gould v. O’Leary (now Gould v. Morgan)  is the third right-to-carry case brought by Comm2A against Massachusetts cities and towns.  Like our earlier cases, Davis v. Grimes and Batty v. Albertelli , Gould challenges policies in Boston and Brookline that restrict 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. 

Under Massachusetts law, a License to Carry Firearms is required to possess, purchase, and carry handguns and large capacity firearms. Such licenses are usually issued by a licensing authority, typically the Chief of Police, in the city or town in which a person is a resident. Additionally, state law provides police chiefs who “deem proper” the ability to place limitations on those licenses, arbitrarily limiting the license holder to firearms-related activities such as employment, target shooting, hunting, and/or sporting purposes.

History/Schedule:

  • 04/01/2019 — Petition for writ of certiorari (18-1272)
  • 11/02/2018 — Opinion of the First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 12/05/2018 — Memorandum and Order of the District Court
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