Lawsuit over handguns prohibition dismissed


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed yesterday for lack of standing a couple’s lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the CNMI Weapons Control Act that prohibits all residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes.

Manglona, however, allowed plaintiffs David J. Radich and Li-Rong Radich to file until March 24, 2015, an amended complaint to include the handgun import ban.

To vindicate their Second Amendment right to bear handguns in self-defense, the Radich couple has the duty to establish their legal standing, the judge said.

Manglona said because the current defendant, Department of Public Safety Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero, cannot provide the full remedy the Radich couple seeks for their alleged constitutional injury, they must join the official in charge of enforcing the handgun import ban.

Manglona said Deleon Guerrero admitted that he “enforces the CNMI’s laws, customs, practices, and policies,” but the plain language of the statute provides that the Customs Service—not DPS or its commissioner—has the “primary responsibility and authority to enforce” the import ban.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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