FOLLOWING DISTRICT COURT’S RULING
AG: For over 40 years, CNMI Weapons Control Act protected people from gun violence
U.S. Navy veteran David J. Radich and his wife, Li-Rong, are now looking forward to being able to own a handgun in the Commonwealth, according to their counsel, Daniel Guidotti.
In an interview yesterday, Guidotti said he believes that U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona made the right ruling and that his clients are happy with the results of their lawsuit.
Guidotti said Manglona’s ruling was in line with the rights granted to the people of the CNMI under the U.S. Constitution and the Covenant particularly Section 501 (a).
As to some CNMI residents’ comment on social media, expressing their disappointment with the ruling and blaming the Radich couple, the lawyer said he has no comment as “that’s beyond what’s appropriate.”
Guidotti added that he advised his clients not to speak to the media about the issue.
Asked for comment about Manglona’s ruling, Attorney General Edward Manibusan said yesterday that for over 40 years, the Commonwealth Weapons Act has protected the people of the CNMI for gun violence.
Manibusan said in light of Manglona’s decision in Radich lawsuit, his office will continue to ensure the safety and security of the people of the Commonwealth.
The AG said they have been working with Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres and the Legislature in crafting legislation on the use and possession of firearms consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Heller.
“That legislation with a section by section analysis is now before the Legislature for its consideration and action,” Manibusan said.
In the District of Columbia v. Heller case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the operative clause of the Second Amendment—“the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”—guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.”
Applying that individual right, the Supreme Court struck down a District of Columbia ban on the “possession of usable handguns in the home.”
Manglona has declared unconstitutional the CNMI gun’s control law that prohibits all residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes.
Manglona ruled that the handgun and handgun ammunition and their import ban contained in the provisions of the CNMI Weapons Control Act are declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Manglona issued the ruling favorable to the Radich couple, who have filed a lawsuit against then-Department of Public Safety commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero and Department of Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson, that challenges the constitutionality of the CNMI Weapons Control Act that prohibits all residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes.
According to the complaint, in 2010, while Mr. Radich was away and his wife, Li-Rong, was at home alone on Saipan, their house was invaded.
Li-Rong was attacked and beaten up resulting in serious injuries. She screamed out for help, prompting the invader to leave.
The couple applied for weapons permit in July 2013. No permit has been granted.