On September 28, 2016, in Murphey v. Guerrero, Chief Judge Ramona Manglona of the U.S. District Court for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands declared several key aspects of the Weapons Control Act and Special Act for Firearms Enforcement of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (“CNMI”) to be unconstitutional on the basis that they violate the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment. The court decided the case on competing motions for summary judgment and struck down provisions that: (1) required firearms to be registered; (2) prohibited rifles chambered for calibers greater than .223; (3) prohibited “assault weapons”; (4) banned the open carry of operable firearms in public; and (5) imposed a $1,000 excise tax on handguns. Of note, the court specifically held that the “Second Amendment secures a right to bear arms for self-defense in public.” However, the court held that a requirement to obtain a license to possess a firearm and prohibitions on magazines that hold more than ten rounds were constitutional. In addition, the court held that a provision requiring firearms in a person’s home to either be stored in a locked container, disabled with a trigger lock, or carried on the person, was constitutional.
A copy of the decision can be found here. Renzulli Law Firm closely follows court cases and legislative developments impacting the Second Amendment. We are available to answer questions concerning the Second Amendment, or the recent decision in Murphey v. Guerrero.