I’ll cover the Supreme Court’s decision to grant the petition for Writ of Certiorari filed by Dr. Alfred Morin in Morin v Lyver.
Just a quick disclaimer, all the info I’ll provide in this post does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content, and my opinions on the matter are for general informational and entertainment purposes only. If you need legal advice, please contact the United States Concealed Carry Association or USCCA at 800-674-9779.
Before I get to my talking points, some of you probably want to know what this post is for and why you should even watch it. If you obtained a concealed carry permit in your home state and you tend to travel to other states where you’re not 100% sure whether your concealed carry license permit is legal, then you’re probably concerned with Concealed Carry Reciprocity, and some of the current legal hullabaloo related to it.
But if you have no idea what it’s all about, the rule of thumb is, if you acquired a concealed carry license permit in your home state and you are looking to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense while traveling in or through states that do not recognize your concealed carry license permit from your home state, then you should first contact law enforcement authorities in all of those states before you even travel.
That’s because some of those states can just arrest you and file charges against you, and if you lose the case, depending on which state you’re from, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be able to legally purchase a firearm EVER again — EVEN if you were only convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor, like if you live in the state of Massachusetts.
If you believe the Supreme Court really hit the nail on the head with their landmark decision on the New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen case, or if you think they’re not doing nearly enough for your Second Amendment rights, please share your thoughts by commenting down below.
So just recently, there was this fifth case that has been identified by the Supreme Court, the Morin v Lyver case, that should be reheard. It is in consideration of the Supreme Court’s landmark gun ruling in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Co. v. Bruen.
In case you’re not aware or you need a bit of a refresher on the subject, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bruen on June 23rd of this year which overturned a New York gun law. Specifically, the Supreme Court remanded the case and reversed the judgment based on a 100-year-old New York law requiring citizens to show proper cause in order to legally obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun outside of their homes.
Back to the Morin v Lyver case — this one comes out of Massachusetts challenging a state law that permanently disqualifies individuals who were convicted of certain misdemeanors, even non-violent ones, from ever buying guns again.
To give a summary of the case, in 2004, a certain individual by the name of Dr. Alfred Morin was convicted of a NON-VIOLENT misdemeanor. He obtained a permit to carry a concealed weapon in his home state of Massachusetts but was convicted for carrying a gun when he traveled to Washington D.C. His Massachusetts permit was not valid in D.C. because of the city’s total ban on carrying guns. But he was unaware of this and traveled to Washington D.C. anyway without talking to any law enforcement authorities first.
Dr. Morin was on his way to the American Museum of Modern History when he saw a sign prohibiting firearms so he decided to approach one of the guards to ask about his concealed carry handgun. The police found out about it and he was arrested right there and then.
He was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition. In November of that year, he pled guilty and received a 60-day sentence on each of those counts. But they suspended some of those counts for time served and just gave him 20 hours of community service.
In February of 2008, Dr. Morin filed an application to renew his Massachusetts permit to carry. Because of his convictions in the state of D.C. from four years earlier, the chief of police denied his application to renew.
In February of 2015, more than 10 years after he pled guilty to the charges filed against him in the state of D.C., Dr. Morin decided to once again try and apply for a concealed carry weapon permit.
His application was denied once again, so he filed charges in the district court against the chief of police in Massachusetts for depriving him of his right to keep and bear arms. The district court ruled that the right of an individual to carry a weapon outside of his or her home is different from the core right to possess a weapon inside of the home, and since the chief of police’s denial of his application for a concealed carry permit did not impact his core right, his case was dismissed.
The district court’s decision to dismiss the case was predicated upon the importance of preventing potentially dangerous individuals from carrying concealed weapons in public, even when so-called individuals were only convicted of non-violent misdemeanors.
Dr. Morin then filed an appeal against the district court’s decision in the first circuit court. The first circuit court then ruled that the police and the state were not depriving Dr. Morin of his right to keep and bear arms because a Firearms Identification Card combined with a permit to purchase allows an individual to acquire a firearm and possess it in his or her home, which meant that he could still exercise his second amendment rights.
Both the district and the circuit courts interpret the Second Amendment as a right that only applies inside an individual’s home, that is, you can keep and bear arms only in your home, and that the Second Amendment doesn’t necessarily give you the right to carry a concealed firearm outside of your home for self-defense.
So after the first circuit court’s ruling, Dr, Morin filed an application for a Firearms ID Card and a permit to purchase. But the police yet again denied his application for a permit to purchase because of his 2004 non-violent misdemeanors in that same incident in the state of D.C. so they did not grant him his Firearms Identification Card.
Dr. Morin filed charges again, that time saying that without a license to carry or a Firearms ID Card with a permit to purchase, he is unable to exercise his right to keep and bear arms even within his own home.
The district court denied Dr. Morin’s motion for summary judgment and granted the police and state of Massachusetts’ cross-motion for summary judgment using intermediate scrutiny where they found that people who are convicted of weapons-related misdemeanors that are punishable by imprisonment are not the type of responsible, law-abiding citizens contemplated by the court in the DC v Heller case.
This means that even when an individual is only convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor, if he or she served jail time, he or she is considered a criminal and will not be allowed to legally purchase a firearm. But the district court also stated that Dr. Morin was not totally banned from being able to own a handgun for self-defense because if one of his family members died, he could inherit a firearm that that person used to own.
The state of Massachusetts ultimately granted Dr. Morin a Firearms ID Card in 2018. He is now able to buy certain shotguns and rifles, but he has not been allowed to buy any pistols since he was convicted of his 2004 non-violent misdemeanors, so he filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court.
The state of Massachusetts filed their response and made a couple of weak arguments in their attempt to dissuade the Supreme Court from reviewing this case. I won’t get to all of them because again, they’re weak and pathetic and the Supreme Court already granted Dr. Morin the Writ for Certiorari, so why bother?
I did touch on one of those arguments earlier wherein the state of Massachusetts argued that the ruling in Bruen does not apply to Dr. Morin’s case because it only applies to law-abiding citizens, and since Dr. Morin is a criminal because of his 2004 convictions for which he was sentenced 60 days, even if he was only convicted of non-violent misdemeanors, he cannot be deemed a law-abiding citizen.
So, because of the state of Massachusetts’ weak arguments, the Supreme Court following its new Bruen standard stated on its order list dated October 3, 2022, quote, the petition for a Writ of Certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.
So what does all this tell us? The Supreme Court is currently kind of pro-Second Amendment, and this decision to grant the Writ of Certiorari in favor of Dr. Morin signals a new era of Second Amendment litigation that the Supreme Court wants to see unfold under its new Bruen standard.
The Court had already sent a number of other cases back to lower courts, some concerning AR-15 bans, magazine limits, and open carry restrictions. It now looks like the Supreme Court is also going after cases of lifetime gun bans, especially where the individuals concerned were only convicted of non-violent minor offenses. So everything’s looking good so far. But we must remain vigilant. We don’t really know if or when these rulings would backfire.