Justice Served With Precision, Passion, and Professionalism Call Now

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Acknowledges Bruen, REVERSES the Burden of Proof

Keith G. Langer April 13, 2023

"In the wake of the United States Supreme Court's decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111, 2122 (2022), in which the Court held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to carry a firearm in public, our existing precedent that licensure is an affirmative defense, and not an element of the offense the Commonwealth is required to prove, must be revisited.  See Commonwealth v. Gouse, 461 Mass. 787, 807 (2012).  Because possession of a firearm in public is constitutionally protected conduct, in order to convict a defendant of unlawful possession of a firearm, due process requires the Commonwealth prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant did not have a valid firearms license."

Commonwealth vs. Carlos Guardado, SJC-13315 (2023)