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berhil press Le juge fédéral confirme l'interdiction du Massachusetts sur AR-15, les magazines de grande capacité.

berhil press Le juge fédéral confirme l'interdiction du Massachusetts sur AR-15, les magazines de grande capacité.

berhil press Le juge fédéral confirme l'interdiction du Massachusetts sur AR-15, les magazines de grande capacité.

A federal district court judge in Boston has upheld the state's ban on assault weapons – AR-15 semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines – finding that the issue is not a constitutional matter but one for each state to determine on its own politically.

"The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms,’" U.S. District Judge William Young, a Reagan appointee, wrote in a decision Thursday in Boston, dismissing a lawsuit over the state law.

Young was ruling for the state in upholding Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's decision in 2016 to broaden the definition of “copies or duplicates" of AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles that are banned under a 1998 state law covering assault weapons.

Healey's decision, which was challenged by a gun-rights group, came in the wake of the June 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were killed by a gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle and semi-automatic pistol.


The issue has taken on a new sense of urgency following the Valentine's Day killing in Parkland, Fla., of 17 people by a gunman armed with an AR-15. Student survivors of the Florida shooting have mounted a campaign calling for a nationwide ban on the weapons.  

In his ruling in Boston, Young quoted from the writings of the late Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia, a conservative and an "originalist," who believed the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original meaning at the time it was written.

Writing for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, in a ruling that struck down a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., Scalia had found that the Second Amendment "does not provide a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

"Weapons that are most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like" aren’t protected by the Second Amendment and "may be banned," Young quoted Scalia as writing on behalf of the five-member majority.

The AR-15, a semi-automatic weapon and technically not an assault weapon, is similar to the M-16, an assault rifle first used on the battlefield in Vietnam.

Healey welcomed Young’s ruling. “Strong gun laws save lives, and we will not be intimidated by the gun lobby in our efforts to end the sale of assault weapons and protect our communities and schools,” she said in a statement.

The National Rifle Association said in a statement that it was "extremely disappointed" in the ruling and argued that Young distorted Scalia's position.

The NRA said Scalia had joined a dissent in 2015 that said the decision by millions of Americans to own AR-style rifles for lawful purposes "is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons."

Young had rejected arguments by the Massachusetts plaintiffs, including the Gun Owners’ Action League Inc., who had challenged the state ban in part by declaring the AR-15 to be extremely popular in the U.S.

"The AR-15’s present day popularity is not constitutionally material," Young wrote.

In his conclusion, Young declared that the fate of the AR-15 and similar weapons is not of "constitutional moment" but one that should be left for each individual state and its people to decide politically.

"Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous and robust debate about these matters. We call it democracy," Young wrote. "Justice Scalia would be proud."

Plaintiffs vs. Healey by Doug Stanglin on Scribd

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