Juvenile Delinquency Bars License to Carry

In the case of Chardin v. Police Commissioner of Boston, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a person who was adjudicated a delinquent child by reason of having committed a felony is legally precluded from being issued or holding a license to carry firearms in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts SJC further ruled that the Massachusetts Firearms Licensing Law which prohibits someone who was adjudicated a delinquent child for having committed a felony did not infringe on the LTC applicant’s 2nd Amendment rights, even after the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 630, 635, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008).

Mirko Chardin was adjudicated a delinquent child after he admitted that there were facts sufficient to support the charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a valid License to Carry Firearms or Firearms Identification Card. Many years thereafter, pursuant to G.L. c. 140, § 131, Chardin applied for a Class A LTC. In response to his application, Chardin received a letter from the Boston Police Department stating that his Class A LTC application was denied because, “you have a sealed record with a disqualifying conviction(s) as outlined in chapter 180 of the Acts of 1998.

In ruling on the appeal of the denial of his Class A LTC application, the SJC noted that the unlicensed possession of a firearm in Massachusetts is and was a felony and although the juvenile justice system treated Chardin as a “juvenile delinquent” instead of an adult “criminal,” the violation of law which he committed was a felony under Massachusetts law. The ammunition charge is and was a misdemeanor. The SJC ruled that the prohibition against issuing firearms licenses to felons set forth in G.L. c. 140, § 131 prevented the issuance of a license to carry firearms and the prohibition does not violate the right to keep and bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment, as defined in District of Columbia v. Heller and made applicable to the individual states, including Massachusetts, by the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago (PDF).

If you are being denied a License to Carry Firearms due to a Juvenile Delinquency Adjudication or for any other reason, you may have legal recourse by appealing to the Firearms Licensing Review Board or appealing the Juvenile Delinquency Adjudication. Contact a lawyer for more information.