BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today joined several partners in a federal lawsuit against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and two other Massachusetts officials, challenging their acts of eliminating all lawful channels of access to constitutionally protected arms and ammunition during the coronavirus emergency.
Partners in this action included the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc. (Comm2A), the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), plus retailers and private citizens. The case is known as McCarthy v. Baker. Attorneys in this case are J. Steven Foley of Worcester, Jason A. Guida of Saugus and David Jensen of Beacon, N.Y.
“Closing gun stores and preventing citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights is not the way to fight a viral pandemic,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “How ironic that rights groups must take the governor of Massachusetts to court over a Second Amendment issue as the 245th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord approaches. Government gun control is precisely the reason our ancestors stood together on April 19, 1775, and the Baker administration should seriously re-think its position.”
“State and local governments cannot suspend the Constitution and its guarantee of fundamental human rights,” FPC President Brandon Combs added. “Massachusetts has again gone out of its way to prevent individuals from exercising their right to keep and bear arms when they want and need to most. But the Second Amendment is not a second-class right. We are proud to fight for the rights of Bay Staters alongside our friends and fellow plaintiffs in this case."
“It’s sad that rather than devoting their full attention to addressing this serious public health emergency, the Baker administration is treating this crisis as an opportunity to set the precedent for suspend constitutional rights that they oppose,” Brent Carlton with Comm2A observed. “The Baker administration can no more block exercise of the Second Amendment by preventing Massachusetts residents from purchasing firearms than the Trump administration can limit the First Amendment by closing the New York Times or CNN.”
“It is disheartening to see one of our original freedom fighter colonies decide to take a page from General Thomas Gage,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “During the Massachusetts ratifying convention, Samuel Adams proposed an amendment guaranteeing that the constitution would not prevent peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms. Yet, the modern day Massachusetts government seeks to do just that. There is no COVID-19 exception in the Constitution, and even this crisis has constitutional limits.”
“It is our pleasure to collectively work with the entities involved in this important court action,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League. “Since the beginning of the fight against COVID-19, the Baker Administration has launched a systematic campaign against our Second Amendment civil rights. It is imperative we ensure our civil rights and systems of checks and balances on our government are protected, especially during times of crisis.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.