Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SAF Sues Massachusetts ... Again

The Second Amendment Foundation in conjunction with Commonwealth Second Amendment filed suit today against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. The suit was filed in US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The suit challenges Coakley enforcement of consumer protection laws that prevent the sale of some handguns. The law in question requires a "load indicator" on handguns which is rather vague.

For example, 3rd and 4th generation Glocks are banned but other handguns with a similar extractor-based load indicator are allowed.

From SAF's release on the lawsuit:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc., two commercial dealers and six private citizens, filed a lawsuit today in federal court in Massachusetts, seeking an injunction against the State Attorney General’s enforcement of state consumer protection regulations that prevent the commercial sale of certain semiautomatic handguns.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, asserts that the regulation requiring a “load indicator” on a semiautomatic handgun is “unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous” because it does not define what this device is, or what it is intended to do.

“We’re asking the court to put a stop to what we believe is arbitrary enforcement of the regulation, because it deems 3rd and 4th generation Glock pistols lack an ‘effective load indicator’ device,” said SAF Founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “How can anyone design something when there is no description, or explanation of exactly what such a device is supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it?”

SAF General Counsel Miko Tempski, coincidentally a Glock factory certified armorer, added, “Our individual plaintiffs want to buy Glock pistols and our retail plaintiffs would be delighted to sell the firearms, but the regulation is being enforced by Attorney General Martha Coakley with no real foundation, because there are no specifics about the device in the regulation. Essentially, it appears the enforcement is pretty much on a whim.

“If the interpretation of the regulation is unclear to the AG’s office and to experts,” Tempski added, “no reasonable person in Massachusetts can know which guns are allowed.”

Adding to the dilemma, according to the lawsuit, is the fact that the 3rd and 4th generation Glock pistols at the center of the dispute have an extractor-based load indicator that reveals at a glance whether there is a cartridge in the chamber. This is virtually identical to extractor-based load indicators on competing pistols from other manufacturers, all of which are legal in Massachusetts.

“We’re hopeful that we can get this resolved rather quickly because the way the regulation is currently being enforced makes absolutely no sense at all,” Gottlieb stated.

The case is Draper et al v. Coakley. The complaint can be found here.

More about the case can be found on the Comm 2A website.

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