Hemenway & Barnes Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of MA Chiefs of Police Association in Worman v. Healey

December 07, 2018

On January 9, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case of Worman et al. v. Healey et al., which challenges Massachusetts assault weapons law.

Hemenway & Barnes attorneys Edward Notis-McConarty, M. Patrick Moore, Jr. and Vanessa A. Arslanian filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association in support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, arguing that the state’s ban on the possession and sale of semi-automatic assault rifles (like AR-15s) is consistent with the Second Amendment.

The Massachusetts law prohibiting the sale, transfer or possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines is being challenged on the grounds that it violates the Second Amendment. In April 2018, federal district court judge William Young denied the claims and upheld the Massachusetts law. The plaintiffs are appealing the decision on the grounds that it violates the Second Amendment

Representing the nonprofit police associations, Hemenway & Barnes’ presented local law enforcement’s perspective on the public safety threat posed by semi-automatic assault rifles and the state’s interest in addressing that threat. The brief argues that semi-automatic rifles were designed for modern military combat, there is no meaningful distinction between semi-automatic and automatic rifles and the Second Amendment does not protect the right to possess machine guns.

Read the brief here: Worman v. Healey Amicus Brief