CNMI says provisions of new gun law constitutional

3:42 pm on 6 July 2016

The Office of the Attorney General in the Northern Marianas has defended the territory's newly enacted gun law saying its provisions are constitutional.

The Special Act for Firearms and Enforcement banned assault rifles and levied a US$1000 tax on handguns.

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Photo: 123 RF

The Attorney General's office said the ban survived intermediate scrutiny because the CNMI had a significant, substantial and important interest in public safety.

It also argued the tax was constitutional because it was a legitimate use of the Commonwealth's unique ability under the CNMI Covenant to control its own customs territory.

The arguments are part of the CNMI government's defence to a lawsuit by US Army veteran Paul Murphy who was challenging the constitutionality of the law.

He argued some provisions in the act violate his right to bear arms under the US constitution.