• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

Urgent help needed: "other dangerous weapon" and OC spray

M1911

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
39,579
Likes
7,801
Location
Near Framingham
Folks: I urgently need help on this. It is my understanding that the phrase "other dangerous weapon" in MGL Chapter 269 Section 10j has been ruled by MA courts to include OC spray. I urgently need a legal reference on this.
 

Whiskeywon

NES Member
Rating - 100%
31   0   0
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,089
Likes
1,089
Location
Massachusetts
Safe assumpsion is yes, especially given MA’s previous restrictions on the item (FID and what not) and how it can still “only be used in self defense.” But hopefully @Len-2A Training or someone similar can shine some light on it.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,365
Likes
12,334
Location
90% in NH
BCPD regularly prosecuted and won these cases. Problem is that District Court cases aren't documented outside the courthouse. The BCPD prosecutor has been retired for a while. He's a personal friend and source of my info.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,365
Likes
12,334
Location
90% in NH
There's a big legal difference between mere possession on a school property and using it to actually threaten or commit a battery with it. BCPD was prosecuting possession.

I'd also like the case reference if it didn't involve an assault. I'll send my Email address by PM.
 

M1911

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
39,579
Likes
7,801
Location
Near Framingham
The case does involve an assault. However, the court holds that OC is a dangerous weapon per se, so I think that effectively covers possession.
 

swatgig

NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
5,885
Likes
6,635
Location
In the shallow end of the gene pool
COMMONWEALTH vs. WYNTON W., 459 Mass. 745 (2011)

This court concluded that the phrase "dangerous weapon," as it is used in G. L.c. 269, § 10(j) (prohibiting the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon on the grounds of any school, college, or university), must be interpreted as incorporating the common-law definition of that phrase, i.e., those objects that are dangerous per se (designed for the purpose of bodily assault or defense) and those things that become dangerous weapons because they are used in a dangerous fashion.

Commonwealth v. Lord, 55 Mass. App. Ct. 265, 269 n.6, & 271 (2002) (although not included in § 10 (b), chemical mace is per se "dangerous weapon" under common law)

WYNTON W., COMMONWEALTH vs., 459 Mass. 745
 

M1911

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
39,579
Likes
7,801
Location
Near Framingham
COMMONWEALTH v. Anthony D. WALCOTT.

17–P–461

Appeals Court of Massachusetts.

Entered: February 8, 2018

That decision covered mace and it happened before the law was changed to legalize carrying defensive sprays without a license. This is a 2018 decision that explicitly covers carrying OC spray.

With that analysis in Lord, we held that "old style mace" was dangerous per se. Lord, supra at 269, 270. While we expressly left open the question whether pepper spray was dangerous per se, id. at 270 n.10, we now answer that question in the same manner, for many of the same reasons. Like conventional mace, a pepper spray canister is "dangerous per se because it was designed for the sole purpose of bodily assault or defense and was constructed to inflict serious bodily harm through incapacitation, and because, in these circumstances, the defendant used it in a manner consistent with its design." Id. at 269–270.
 

M1911

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
39,579
Likes
7,801
Location
Near Framingham
There's a big legal difference between mere possession on a school property and using it to actually threaten or commit a battery with it. BCPD was prosecuting possession.

I'd also like the case reference if it didn't involve an assault. I'll send my Email address by PM.

Email sent.
 

nstassel

NES Member
Rating - 100%
20   0   0
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
3,542
Likes
9,017
Location
Middlesex County
I'm curious too. Commonwealth v. Wynton W., 459 Mass. 745, 947 N.E.2d 561 (2011) says 10(j) includes weapons defined by the common law as dangerous weapons, capable of inflicting death or great bodily injury, or are designed for bodily assault or defense. The Lord decision suggests that mace or oc sprays are dangerous weapons by that definition.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,365
Likes
12,334
Location
90% in NH
The case does involve an assault. However, the court holds that OC is a dangerous weapon per se, so I think that effectively covers possession.

I'm curious too. Commonwealth v. Wynton W., 459 Mass. 745, 947 N.E.2d 561 (2011) says 10(j) includes weapons defined by the common law as dangerous weapons, capable of inflicting death or great bodily injury, or are designed for bodily assault or defense. The Lord decision suggests that mace or oc sprays are dangerous weapons by that definition.
Sadly those cases set the groundwork to convict on mere possession. Very bad but not surprising for Mass Marsupial Courts. Thanks for the cites, they correlate with what I've been telling students and NES'rs for years. I would have preferred to have been wrong and over cautious.
 

terraformer

NES Member
Rating - 100%
32   0   0
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
16,915
Likes
2,613
Hell, 10(j) criminalizes spitballs... Read the definition of firearm. It covers Nerf, Airsoft, BB and frankly spit balls. You can bet your ass anything remotely dangerous is covered.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,365
Likes
12,334
Location
90% in NH
Hell, 10(j) criminalizes spitballs... Read the definition of firearm. It covers Nerf, Airsoft, BB and frankly spit balls. You can bet your ass anything remotely dangerous is covered.
Yup, in today's world all of us that took high school chemistry would be felons. Glass bending and subsequent spitballing was commonplace. Nobody made a big deal about it . . . back then.
 

AHM

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
11,564
Likes
11,235
Folks: I urgently need help on this. It is my understanding that the phrase "other dangerous weapon" in MGL Chapter 269 Section 10j has been ruled by MA courts to include OC spray. I urgently need a legal reference on this.
(None of the following may add anything to the replies in this thread, but...)
if you had a nagging feeling you'd read about this previously on NES;
that's because you did read about it previously on NES:


Scroll back and forth for the full thread, of course.
(Against all odds) hope this helps.
 
Top Bottom