Massachusetts High Court Upholds Law Requiring Gun Locks

By Kamika Dunlap on March 15, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Gun control advocates celebrated a victory as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the state's highest court) upheld a law requiring gun locks.

As reported by the Associated Press, the court ruled in the case of Richard Runyan, charged with improperly storing a hunting rifle under his bed. Apparently, his mentally disabled 18-year-old son shot at a neighbor with a BB gun and then showed police where his father kept the gun.

The state Supreme Judicial Court upheld the constitutionality of a law requiring owners to lock their weapons.

The judge wrote that gun owners have a legal obligation to safely secure their firearms. Gun locks are a requirement under the law.

However, gun proponents argue that the law infringes on their rights. In addition, they argue people have a constitutional right to keep weapons for self-defense under the Second Amendment.

This case illustrates yet another example of the controversy sparked around the gun control debate.

As previously discussed, a new federal law allows individuals to carry unloaded, unconcealed firearms in federal parks, as long as they comply with state gun laws.

Also, members of the pro gun group have been wearing their guns inside Starbucks cafes across in Northern California, Virginia and elsewhere.

As a result this has forced many gun control advocates, including The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to respond by collecting signatures.

Currently, about 43 states have local open-carry weapon laws. Under the law, guns must be unloaded, and the gun magazine must also be visibly holstered.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in Massachusetts said convictions on firearm and related crimes reached 89 percent in 2009 for gun cases tried in a special court.

For many, the conviction rates alone are seen as a triumph.

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