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Federal Judge Orders Firearm Retailers Can Open - Range Issue Not Decided


GOAL is very pleased with the decision from Judge Woodlock in the Massachusetts firearm retailer case McCarthy v. Baker. The Judge’s ruling was based on the fact that denying access to retailers is, in part, a violation of the Second Amendment. The Judge ruled that the retailers will be allowed to open on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at noon. The openings will be required to follow certain guidelines that will be spelled out in the written order to follow.


Upon issuing the decision, the State entered a motion to “stay” the decision pending appeal. That process could months, if not longer. The Judge denied the motion and ordered the retailers to be able to open on Saturday with conditions.


During today’s hearing, the Judge pressed the State for specific answers as to why retailers were removed from the essential list. The Judge said the State could not, or choose not to, provide an answer to the court why Baker listed ranges and retailers as essential and then suddenly removed them. It was then that the Judge strongly hinted that the action seems more about politics than health policy.


There were also several attempts by the Judge to get answers from the State as to why certain businesses are allowed to open, but not these. Especially in light of this has to do with civil rights. He actually stated at one point that we don’t give up our rights just because there is an emergency. He further pointed out that the closing of retailers was not violation on the level of coming to your homes and taking your guns, but at some level is indeed a violation.


GOAL will forward on the specifics of the opening conditions when they are provided.


The Judge did briefly discuss the range closure issue. He determined he was not familiar enough with range operations to make a speedy decision. At that point he separated the two issues and invited the parties to make additional filings if they wanted to pursue the range matter.


A big thank you to SAF, FPC, Comm2A and all the groups and individuals who participate in this rare Massachusetts court win. Also, a big thank you to our supporters for keeping us going during this time.

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