Wesson v. Fowler

Federal District Court for Massachusetts

Challenge to the lifetime license to carry ban for anyone convicted of minor possession

Filed March 1, 2013

Wesson v. Fowler challenges the lifetime ban on the issuance of a License to Carry to anyone convicted of even minor drug related charges.

Massachusetts law imposes a lifetime ban on the issuance of an LTC and therefore a lifetime ban on handgun possession for anyone convicted of a drug related offense.  The current law was passed in 1998 and imposed retrospectively against anyone with an existing conviction or guilty plea.  This broad prohibition persists despite a 2008 law decriminalizing the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and the recent legalization of medicinal marijuana in Massachusetts.  In addition to decriminalization small amounts of marijuana, M.G.L. Chap c. 194 § 32L prohibited the imposition of "any form of penalty, sanction or disqualification on an offender for possessing an ounce or less of marihuana.”

Both individual plaintiffs were convicted of possessing far less than an ounce of marijuana more than thirty years ago, paid small fines, and have, by any measure, been upstanding and responsible citizens ever since. Yet they are denied the ability to exercise a fundamental right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  The lawsuit seeks declaratory judgements that the denial of an LTC violates the plaintiffs' Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights and injunctive relief prohibiting the enforcement of the state's lifetime ban. 

Comm2A and the individual plaintiffs are represented by Lenox, Massachusetts attorney Jeff Scrimo.


Hearing on Motions scheduled for 4/17/14.