CIR Urges Court to Recognize Right to Bear Non-Lethal Arms

August 29, 2014 − by CIR − in Case Updates − Comments Off

On behalf of the group Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment (AWARE), a non-profit dedicated to training women in self-defense, CIR, along with appellate lawyer and AWARE board member Lisa J. Steele and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in Commonwealth v. Caetano.  Jaime Caetano was convicted of possessing a stun gun in violation of Massachusetts’s blanket ban on civilian stun gun possession.  She carried the stun gun in her purse for protection from her dangerously abusive ex-boyfriend.

In its brief, which had been requested by the Court, CIR argued that the Second Amendment protects more than just the right to keep and bear firearms, because the word “arms” in that amendment embraces many different weapons, including stun guns and knives.  Moreover, the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense necessarily includes the right to do so outside the home.  And whatever justification might be adduced for limiting the carrying of deadly weapons, such as firearms, outside the home, these justifications would not support restricting almost entirely nonlethal weapons such as stun guns.

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