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Gun Crime Defense

Read below for some notable updates in Massachusetts Firearm Laws and Cases. As a knowledgeable Lowell Gun Crime Attorney, Ryan Sullivan makes sure that he stays current on the new cases that come out of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court, as well as the United States Supreme Court, so that he is up-to-date on the law for his clients. When an issue arises that may be of interest to his clients, Attorney Sullivan writes a summary of these notable cases.

May 14, 2018

New Supreme Judicial Court case is a reminder that Mass Gun Laws are strict!

On May 14, 2018, in Commonwealth v. John Cassidy, the SJC affirmed the conviction of a law student who was convicted of possessing a legally purchased AK rifle and a 9 millimeter handgun capable of firing 12 rounds.

Although the firearms were both legally purchased in Texas by Mr. Cassidy, they were not properly registered in Massachusetts as the law requires. Mr. Cassidy, who represented himself on appeal, testified that he was told he should register the weapons by a fellow law student but was unable to afford the registration fee.

So, when police executed a search warrant they found an AK rifle in the closet and a loaded 9-millimeter handgun with an after-market magazine which made it a large capacity weapon.

The Court held that the Commonwealth proved that the “defendant either knew the firearm or feeding device met the legal definition of ‘large capacity’ or knew it was capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition,” despite arguments to the contrary.

Additionally, the defendant’s arguments under the second amendment failed, and his conviction was affirmed.

This is yet another example of why it is important to consult an experienced gun crime defense attorney if you possess firearms in Massachusetts and a warning to others that the gun laws in the state are among the most strict.

The full opinion can be read at here.

March 19, 2018

Mass Appeals court suppresses firearm — in other words the gun cannot be admitted into evidence at trial.

An excellent new case for people who find themselves seized by police, or held against their will. The Appeals Court reversed a Superior Court decision where the police had stopped a group of youths for potentially “casing” a bike rack.

The Court determined that the police had no reason to ask the men to identify themselves. So when the police did so under the guise of a “warrant check,” the result was a finding that the police unlawfully detained the men.

What does this mean? The decision means that at the trial, the prosecutor cannot admit into evidence the knife and loaded gun that was dropped by one of the men. Without this evidence, it is extremely unlikely that the Commonwealth will be able to put forward a case and the the charges will most likely be dismissed.

The entire decision of Commonwealth v. Harris can be read here.

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