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Murphy v. Guerrero

2016 WL 5508998 (2016)

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Murphy v. Guerrero

United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands

2016 WL 5508998 (2016)

Facts

Paul Murphy (plaintiff) attempted to bring three firearms—a .223 rifle, a WASR rifle, and a Glock pistol—into the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (defendant), a territory of the United States. Customs officials seized the firearms. Murphy obtained a license to own firearms in the CNMI, but pursuant to the CNMI’s gun laws, only the .223 rifle was returned to him. For six years, Murphy renewed his license and applied unsuccessfully to register the WASR rifle and Glock pistol. Murphy also imported several additional rifles, which he was forced to surrender. Murphy brought a federal action against the CNMI—more specifically, public safety commissioner Roberto Guerrero and secretary of finance Larrisa Larson (defendants) in their official capacities—to challenge the validity of the CNMI’s gun laws under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Specifically, Murphy challenged (1) a license provision that required each gun owner to pass a safety course and a background check; (2) a registration requirement; (3) storage restrictions applying to a gun owner’s home; (4) a ban on large-capacity magazines; (5) restrictions on bullet sizes for long guns; (6) a ban on assault rifles, particularly certain rifle attachments; (7) a ban on public carry and transportation of firearms; and (8) a $1,000 excise tax applied against handguns imported into the CNMI. The CNMI asserted interests in preventing dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms and promoting public safety. Both sides moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Manglona, C.J.)

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