Judge Rejects Challenge To Mass. Assault Weapons Ban

gun assault rifle ar-15 generic automatic assault weapon

(Getty Images/Stella)

BOSTON (24/7 News Source/WBZ-AM) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is hailing a federal judge's decision upholding the state's assault weapons ban.

U.S. District Court Judge William Young rejected a gun lobby challenge of the ban.

The court's decision found that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

"The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to 'bear Arms,'" read the court decision, which can be read in full here:

Healey held a press conference shortly after the announcement Friday, flanked by Somerville High School students who are working to end gun violence.

"The decision says that we the people of Massachusetts have the right to protect ourselves by banning these weapons, and it makes clear that my office has the authority to enforce the law," Healey said.

As for the possibility the case could go to the Supreme Court, Healey said, "We're ready."

After the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016, Healey reviewed the state's 1998 ban, and found that so-called "Massachusetts compliant" assault weapons violated the "copies or duplicates" language of the ban.

The AG's office issued a warning to gun sellers across the Commonwealth in July 2016 to stop the sale of these so-called "copycat" weapons.

Healey says her office will not be intimidated by the gun lobby in the effort to end the sale of assault weapons to protect communities and schools.

The Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement about the decision, saying they were "delighted" with the result.

"Keeping weapons of war off of our streets is a no brainer and we plan to continue fighting for common-sense gun policies in the Commonwealth and beyond," their statement read. "We applaud Attorney General Healey and her staff for protecting the citizens of Massachusetts by enforcing this law."

Jim Wallace, Executive Director of the Gun Owner’s Action League (GOAL), said he is “not just disappointed, but rather alarmed at some of the wording in the decision and the decision itself.”

GOAL was one of the plaintiffs in the case, so Wallace said there was a lot he could not discuss--but he said he and his group believe the ruling gives Healey too much power. 

"We have now an Attorney General that has been given complete authority to come up with any interpretations of any laws in any way, shape, or form they choose, as long as they don't actually prosecute somebody," Wallace said. "That's pretty scary stuff.”

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WBZ  NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports

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