Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment, a federal judge said in a ruling Friday upholding Massachusetts’ ban on the weapons.
U.S. District Judge William Young dismissed a lawsuit challenging the 20-year-old ban, saying assault weapons are military firearms that fall beyond the reach of the constitutional right to “bear arms,” the Associated Press reports.
Regulation of the weapons is a matter of policy, not for the courts, he said.
The Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts and other groups that filed the lawsuit argued that the AR-15 cannot be considered a “military weapon” because it cannot fire in fully automatic mode.
Young dismissed that argument, noting that the semi-automatic AR-15’s design is based on guns “that were first manufactured for military purposes” and that the AR-15 is “common and well-known in the military.”