On March 21, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Caetano v. Massachusetts without oral argument.
Jamie Caetano was convicted of violating a Massachusetts law prohibiting possession of stun guns. On appeal, she claimed this law violated the Second Amendment, by infringing her right to possess a stun gun in public for the purpose of self-defense from an abusive ex-boyfriend. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed Caetano’s conviction, ruling that stun guns are not eligible for Second Amendment protection.
By a vote of 8-0, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion vacating the judgment of the Massachusetts court and remanding the case. Citing its 2008 precedent District of Columbia v. Heller, and its 2010 precedent McDonald v. Chicago, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Massachusetts court’s decision as contradictory of Supreme Court precedent. Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Thomas joined.
To discuss the case, we have Nelson Lund, who is University Professor at George Mason University School of Law.