Following the Supreme Court’s pro-gun rights decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen earlier this year, several other pending Second Amendment-related cases have been ordered to be reconsidered at the lower court level.
The latest came on Monday in a case out of Massachusetts known as Morin v. Lyver, which the Supreme Court vacated and remanded back to the circuit court level for reconsideration, Breitbart reported.
In addition to forcing the reconsideration of several gun rights cases, the Bruen decision also prompted several Democrat-led anti-gun states to relax at least some of their stringent gun control regulations.
Vacated and remanded
Amid a flurry of orders issued by the Supreme Court to launch its new term that began Monday, the court stated in regard to Morin v. Lyver, “The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen.”
The Bruen decision, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, had clarified that the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment extended outside of the home and struck down a restrictive concealed carry permitting law while it also established a new legal “test” for gun rights cases that centered on historical precedents and tradition.
That ruling has now led to the high court vacating and remanding at least five other major gun rights cases, including this latest one, that involves issues like so-called “assault weapons” bans, limitations on magazine capacity, and restrictions on open carry, among other things.
Honest non-violent mistake results in a lifetime ban
According to The Reload, the Morin v. Lyver case challenges a Massachusetts law that permanently prohibits individuals convicted of any gun-related offense, including non-violent misdemeanors, from possessing or purchasing a handgun.
In 2004, a Massachusetts concealed carry license holder named Dr. Alfred Morin traveled to Washington D.C. and, unaware of that city’s complete ban on handguns at the time, was busted when he attempted to check his licensed firearm with security at a museum that prominently displayed a “no guns” sign.
Morin pleaded guilty in D.C. to carrying a gun without a license and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, though he never actually served any of that time. However, in light of that gun-related misdemeanor conviction, Massachusetts refused to renew his concealed carry permit and permanently barred him from purchasing or possessing handguns, though he was still permitted to own rifles and shotguns.
Morin then sued the state over its infringement of his Second Amendment-protected rights, but both a district court and an appeals court panel upheld the Massachusetts law. Now, however, thanks to the Supreme Court and Bruen, the case will be reconsidered under the new legal standard and, most likely Morin will ultimately prevail.
Gun rights should not be lost over non-violent offenses
The Firearms Policy Coalition, a pro-gun law firm that filed a brief in support of Morin, said in a statement in March, “History shows that peaceable persons have full Second Amendment rights. Yet across the country, many continue to be denied their right to keep and bear arms based on nonviolent offenses.”
Indeed, Morin, who did nothing worse than accidentally carry his licensed concealed weapon into a prohibited place and was then busted for being honest about that mistake, should not be barred for the rest of his life from fully exercising his Second Amendment-protected rights, nor should any other non-violent offender, and hopefully, this case will eventually rectify that travesty of justice.