Davis v. Grimes

Federal District Court for Massachusetts

Challenge to firearms license restrictions that prohibit the possession, carrying, or use of firearms for personal protection

Filed February 7, 2013

Davis v. Grimes  challenges the wide-spread practice of restricting the lawful possession, use, and carrying of firearms in such a way as to deny plaintiffs the ability to use or carry a firearm for personal protection. 

Possession of a firearm in Massachusetts is unlawful unless one holds a firearms license issued by to the police chief in the town in which they live.  In issuing firearms licenses, each of the state's 351 police chiefs are authorized to impose restrictions relative the the use, possession, or carrying of firearms by the license holder.  By restricting the plaintiffs' use, possession, and carrying of firearms to purposes such as "sporting", "target", or "hunting" the defendants' have denied plaintiffs the ability to possess a firearm for self-defense, a fundamental right guaranteed by the Second Amendment ot the United States Constitution.

The lawsuit seeks a declaratory ruling that the Massachusetts statute and the practice of the defendants is unconstitutional as it denies otherwise qualified citizens the ability possess or carry an operable firearm for the purpose of personal protection.   Comm2A and the individual plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David Jensen and Patrick M. Groulx


The court dismissed the case on June 16, 2015.  Both defendant's, Peabody and Weymouth, have changed their licensing policies and now routinely issue unrestricted licenses to carry to qualified applicants. 

From the court's order:

In accordance with the Court's Electronic Order issued on June 17, 2015, granting the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on the Ground That There is no Longer a Case or Controversy Between the Parties, it is hereby ORDERED that the above-entitled action be dismissed.

Comm2A is continuing to challenge restrictive licensing policies in Batty v. Albertelli against the towns of Winchester, New Bedford, and Lowell.