The Latest: US appeals court hears Maryland gun-control case

AP News
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Posted: May 11, 2016 11:19 AM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a federal appeals court hearing on Maryland's assault weapons ban (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

A federal appeals court in Virginia spent more than an hour vigorously questioning lawyers about the constitutionality of Maryland's ban on assault weapons and large-capacity gun magazines.

Thirteen judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the ban Wednesday. The court typically takes several weeks to rule.

A key issue is whether a federal judge who upheld the ban applied the correct legal standard for issues involving constitutional rights. A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in February that she did not and sent the case back to the judge for another look using a more rigorous standard. The state appealed that 2-1 decision.

Maryland lawmakers passed the sweeping Firearms Safety Act after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. Gun-rights advocates went along with most of the law but challenged the provision banning 45 assault weapons and the 10-round limit on gun magazines.

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9:45 a.m.

Maryland's ban on assault weapons and large-capacity gun magazines is back before a federal appeals court in Virginia.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond raised concerns about the constitutionality of the restrictions in February. The panel sent a lawsuit challenging those provisions back to a judge who upheld them and ordered her to take another look using a more rigorous legal standard.

The state appealed that 2-1 decision to the full 15-member appeals court, which will hear arguments Wednesday.

Maryland lawmakers passed the sweeping Firearms Safety Act after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. Gun-rights advocates went along with most of the law but challenged the provision banning 45 assault weapons and the 10-round limit on gun magazines.