Tuesday, June 11, 2024

MA: Carry Permit Case Derived from Bruen Resolved in Favor of Plantiff


The Second Amendment case of Morin v Lyver, granted certiorai, vacated, and remanded back to the First Circuit, has been decided in favor of the plaintiff, Alfred Morin.

In June of 2022, the Supreme Court published clarification of how the Second Amendment should be treated by the Courts, in the Bruen decision. Bruen gave clear guidance on how Heller should be applied. This was necessary because the Circuit courts had created a complicated two step process which was used to side step the Heller decision. In Bruen, the court said the two step process was one too many. The Court laid out a simple process to judge Second Amendment cases. As a result of Bruen four pending cases were granted certiorari, vacated, and remanded back to their circuits for rehearing using the Bruen process. Morin v Lyver was one of the four cases. It was remanded back to the First Circuit on October 3, 2022.

Morin was severely victimized as an honest man attempting to follow the law. He suffered significant legal damage for the attempt. Morin had been issued a Massachusetts license to carry in 1985. He had grown accustomed to legally go about armed. He visited the District of Columbia, and was about to enter the Museum of Natural History when he noticed he was not allowed to carry firearms in the Museum. From casetext.com:

The Commonwealth issued Plaintiff a Class A license to carry firearms in 1985. His Class A license allowed him to carry a concealed firearm in public, and he had a habit of always carrying a loaded pistol on his person. In October 2004, Plaintiff drove from Massachusetts to Washington, DC, to visit his daughter. Unaware that the District of Columbia would not recognize his Massachusetts license, he carried his pistol with him. While visiting the American Museum of Natural History during his trip, Plaintiff noticed a sign banning firearms. He approached a guard at the museum and asked to check his weapon. The guard contacted the police, who arrested Plaintiff and charged him with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition. Plaintiff pled guilty to attempting to carry a pistol without a license, in violation of D.C. Code § 22-3204(a)(1) (2004), and possession of an unregistered firearm, in violation of D.C. Code § 6-2376 (2004). (Docket No. 21-3). The court sentenced him to sixty days in prison on each count, to run concurrently, as well as three months of supervised probation and twenty hours of community service. His prison sentence was suspended.

When Morin applied to have his carry permit renewed in 2008, he was denied because of the D.C. conviction. Morin appealed this decision all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Morin's case became part of the legacy of the Bruen decision. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit sent the case back to the Massachusetts District Court.

Rather than re-hear the case, the Plaintiff (Alfred Morin) and the defendants (Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Police Chief William Lyber) agreed to a joint motion for judgement and proposed judgement. Plaintiff Morin would be issued a permit to purchase. The judgment was filed on March 3, 2023. From the Joint Motion for Judgement:

The parties agree that the Court should enter the following order of judgment in favor of Plaintiff:

Under the specific facts of this case and applicable law, including but not limited to New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), the limitations contained in G.L. c.140, § 131A to the extent it incorporates G.L. c. 140, § 131(d)(ii)(D), cannot properly be applied to Plaintiff, and Defendants should accordingly issue Plaintiff a permit to purchase pursuant to G.L. c.140, §131A.

Morin is the second  of the four cases which were granted certiorari, vacated, and remanded back to their circuits to reach a final judgement after Bruen.  Young v Hawaii  reached a settlement on December 15, 2022.  Duncan v Bonta is still in play in the Ninth Circuit. Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc v Grewal is ongoing in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


©2024 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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