Second Amendment Right in Someone Else’s Home

A Massachusetts appeals court rejected an argument that there’s a Second Amendment right to have a gun in someone else’s home. Eugene Volokh thinks this is an incorrect ruling. It’s been a huge disappointment to see how few courts are taking the right seriously. While I am still optimistic we’ll end up better off for having gone to Court, I don’t think we’ll end up with nearly the level of protection most of us would like.

8 thoughts on “Second Amendment Right in Someone Else’s Home”

  1. What is most interesting is that we’re not seeing the absolute minimum wins from courts to avoid creating pro-gun 2A precedent.


  2. OK, I will say here what I said on TVC. There is more context to this than what Volokh mentions. In MA there is a “loophole” in chp 129 §10 which allows for unlicensed possession of a firearm in ones home or place of business. This is because although licensing is required everywhere else, including generally for purchase, there is a little used means for purchasing firearms that some chiefs still use. That is a permit to purchase which literally is just a letter from the police chief to the gun shop saying sell this guy what he wants.

    While the letter expires for purchase, the possession is exempted and therefore does not expire. Nor are these letters tracked (or required to be retained) like licensing. This is a mess, as is most MA law, and therefore creates a problem, for the state. People who are in possession and not licensed get a free pass. Now, most of us don’t see this as a problem, but clearly it is to the state here and the people getting off with this loophole usually are miscreants.

    Now, this judge was wrong, but the law states “in ones home” and not in ANY home. So the judge didn’t need to make a constitutional decision here because the miscreants lawyer really didn’t make a good constitutional argument either. The lawyer simply said that this was his occasional residence.

    But this is MA and they will clearly make bad law whenever given the chance.

  3. This shows why I refuse to even set foot in certain states. When will Massachusetts say that all of your rights only apply at home? If you say something they don’t like in public, will they throw you in jail? Are you only allowed to practice approved religions outside your home? Where will they draw the line?

  4. Everyone knows that the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply outside the home. I mean, you can’t allow people to say or read whatever they want IN PUBLIC! I mean…just think of it! Anarchy! Also, if people were secure in their persons and possessions OUTSIDE of the home? Everyone would be smuggling drugs and child porn! Obviously! You can’t expect a cop on the street to get a warrant or have a reasonable suspicion before he searches a person or their property in a public place! Of course someone can’t be expected to testify against themselves, but when they’re in a public court room, that goes completely too far! Of course they should testify against themselves, and if we have to use cruel and unusual punishment to make them do it, we will! I mean, not in their homes. The 8th amendment means you have to torture a confession out of someone while they are outside of their homes. It’s the decent thing to do.

  5. If Massachusetts concedes that the right to possess a firearm includes “any private property permitted by the rightful owner”, which is by definition “a place you have a right to be”, as opposed to merely having a right to carry on your own property and “any other place else the state allows” they are dangerously close to agreeing with the larger statement statement that you have a right to possess a firearm anywhere you have a right to be.

    Since the public has a right to be in public, not just inside homes and businesses, their carry regime goes out the window.

  6. Unless I am misunderstanding this issue then, as a long time NRA member and License to Carry holder (always!), I have to respectfully disagree here.

    A person in their home has every right to say I don’t want your gun in here. In wich case I can either leave it home or not enter their property. My Right to Carry does not overrule their Right to say what they will or won’t allow in their home.

    Their right to their private property trumps my right to say what they must allow me to do there. It is theirs to do with as they wish, not mine.

  7. Midnight,

    You’re correct but misunderstanding this case.

    This case involves the state of Massachusettse saying you can’t lawfully possess in any residence except your own -even if the other property owner says you can-.

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