In deep-blue Maryland, there are 45 types of firearms that are prohibited under its assault weapons ban, along with so-called high-capacity magazines. Now, a federal court has asked that the statute be reviewed under stricter legal standard. These are baby steps. The lower courts are now tasked with reviewing the law again, but the ban is still in place until another judgment is rendered (via WaPo):
The 2-to-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit sends the gun-control law back to a lower court for review, but allows the existing ban to remain in place.
Chief Judge William B. Traxler Jr., writing for the majority, found that the Maryland law “significantly burdens the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home” and should have been analyzed using a more stringent legal standard.
The Maryland law was challenged by a group of gun-store owners and individuals who said the prohibited firearms are not military weapons and are used for lawful purposes such as self-defense, target practice and hunting.
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D), who helped pass the law as a state senator, said Thursday that the court majority got it wrong.
“I think it’s just common sense that the Second Amendment does not give people a right to own military-style assault weapons,” he said.
In a strongly worded dissent, Judge Robert B. King wrote: “Let’s be real: The assault weapons banned by Maryland’s [law] are exceptionally lethal weapons of war” and as such, he said, not necessarily protected by the Second Amendment.
Bob Owens noted that this could impact the legality of assault weapons bans from other anti-gun states as well. The National Shooting Sports Foundation voiced their support in a statement released yesterday:
“We are greatly heartened by the Fourth Circuit panel's ruling today," said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), one of the lead plaintiffs in this case. "As this important case goes forward, NSSF will continue to work with our co-plaintiffs to ensure that our citizens' Second Amendment rights are protected and that the lawful commerce in firearms is restored in support of this constitutional protection."
Liberals keep twisting themselves into pretzels over these so-called assault weapons, which are a figment of the liberal imagination. It looks scary–that’s their argument. An AR-15 rifle has the same operating system as a handgun. They’re both semi-automatics, meaning they self-reload upon discharging a round. Hundreds of millions of these firearms are in circulation. Now, an assault rifle that has the ability to fire multiple rounds per trigger pull (aka automatic) I guess would fit the “weapons of war” term gun control wingnuts use often to curtail Second Amendment liberties. Even with this class of weapons, a civilian can own them if they pay for the tax stamp issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the background check for that usually takes anywhere from 8 months to over a year.
Regardless, let’s see what happens.
Here’s a copy of the opinion via Legal Insurrection: