Knife Rights has filed an Amicus (Friend of the Court) Brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a criminal case involving illegal carry of a switchblade. In Commonwealth v. Canjura the Appellant has challenged the constitutionality under the Second Amendment of Massachusetts’ ban on carry of a switchblade. A decision in favor of the Appellant could strike down the Commonwealth’s ban on carry of switchblades.
When the MSJC accepted the case, the court specifically requested amicus briefs related to the Second Amendment issue at hand. Our Amicus Brief aims to provide added clarity for the court on the subject of Second Amendment claims with regards knives as arms, and in particular switchblades, after the Bruen decision.
The MSJC was schooled on the Second Amendment previously by the Supreme Court of the United States in a case that has had a huge impact as a result of Bruen. In Caetano v. Massachusetts, SCOTUS unanimously vacated the conviction of a woman who carried a stun gun for self-defense and remanded the case back to the state court based on the Second Amendment. Justice Alito wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment that effectively set the bar of “at least 200,000” units possessed nationally for lawful purposes including self-defense. That standard is relied on by virtually every 2A case filed since Bruen, including all of our cases.
In the remanded Caetano case the prosecution and defense reached an agreement and Caetano was found not guilty by the lower court. Two years later, in 2018, in Ramirez v. Commonwealth, the MSJC relied on Caetano to strike down Massachusetts’ stun gun ban. So, at least narrowly, they have recognized Second Amendment rights in a case that’s very similar to this one.
Knife Rights is represented by Second Amendment attorney Daniel L. Schmutter. Generously serving as Knife Rights’ local counsel is Jason Guida, a Massachusetts Second Amendment rights attorney.
Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter said, “Massachusetts’ switchblade ban is clearly unconstitutional. We have done all we can to ensure the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justices have been fully briefed on the Second Amendment after Bruen. Now it is up to them to faithfully apply the law.”
Oral argument is set for December 4th.
Please support Knife Rights’ litigation efforts with a tax-deductible donation to the Knife Rights Foundation at: www.KnifeRights.org/donate (select Knife Rights Foundation)