Challenge to the Massachusetts law banning possession of so-called ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high-capacity’ magazines.

United States District Court — District of Massachusetts (Boston)

Filed: January 23, 2017

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

Plaintiffs filed their petition for certiorari on September 23, 2019 (19-404).  Plaintiffs have the opportunity to file a reply after which the petition will be scheduled for conference.   

Worman v. Baker is a direct challenge to the constitutionality of MGL Ch. 140 §131M which bans “the sale, transfer or possess of an assault weapon or a large capacity feeding device that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994“.  The lawsuit also challenges the constitutionality of the Attorney General’s July 20, 2016 Notice of Enforcement which rather than clarifying the statute, created more doubt and uncertainty about what firearms are and are not legal to possess in Massachusetts.  

 The complaint make three allegations:  

  1. That the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban is unconstitutional because it bans the possession of an entire class of ‘arms’ that are in common use by law-abiding adult citizens in violation of the Supreme Court’s decision in DC v. Heller.
  2. That the Attorney General’s July 20, 2016 Notice of Enforcement is unconstitutional because it amounts to an ex post facto enlargement of an existing criminal statute. 
  3. That the term “copies or duplicates” is unconstitutionally vague because law-abiding citizens of average intelligence are not aware of what conduct is prohibited.

Pullman Arms v. Healey is a related action  brought by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and several commercial plaintiffs.  Comm2A is not a participant in this action.  Unlike our suit which challenges the constitutionality of the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban, the Pullman Arms challenge is limited to Attorney General’s interpretation of the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban.


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