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Mass. High Court Upholds State Gun License Law

This article is more than 6 years old.

The state's highest court has upheld a law that prohibits anyone convicted of a felony as a juvenile from getting a license to carry a gun.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday delivered a unanimous ruling that the Massachusetts law is not an infringement on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The opinion, written by Justice Francis X. Spina, states that "the statute embodies a long-standing and well-recognized prohibition on the possession of firearms by a particular group of individuals — those who have committed a felony."

With its ruling, the court rejected a claim by Mirko Chardin, who was convicted of a felony as a minor in 1994 but has gone on to earn a master's degree in teaching, become an ordained minister, and head a Cambridge school. Chardin claimed that denying him a license to carry a firearm based on charges against him as a youth violated a "fundamental right to keep and bear arms," according to the opinion.

Chardin's attorney, Edward George Jr., told WBUR the ruling was a travesty.

"The court in this state will uphold any form of gun legislation that it can rationalize," George said, "and that I think is unfortunate."

George said there are no plans yet to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This program aired on June 4, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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