Maryland Assault Weapons Ban in jeopardy after Court of Appeals ruling

Yesterday, the 4th Circuit Appeals Court ruled 2-1 to remand a case reviewing Maryland’s AWB back to the District court and for the District court to apply a more stringent standard of review to the case. In the majority opinion, Chief Judge William B. Traxler Jr stated that the Maryland AWB “significantly burdens the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home.”

Maryland had originally passed their assault weapons ban in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. The ban regulated over 40 specific guns by name, and as many such bans do, limited the possession and access to magazines with a capacity higher than 10 rounds. The law was challenged by a group of plaintiffs that included national organizations such as the NSSF; they were met with defeat at the US District Court level, when that court ruled that Maryland’s law was in fact Constitutional.

The victory at the Court of Appeals level means that the case will get sent back to the District Court for review. The Appeals court has found that Maryland’s law does violate the Constitution and that the District Court should apply strict scrutiny. The Maryland DA has said that he plans to seek an en banc or Supreme Court appeal to reverse the Appeal Court’s decision.

For a more detailed analysis from an actual legal expert, please visit the Volokh Conspiracy.

1 Comment

  1. They did not strike down the equal protections part however. Citing that there is somehow a difference between retired police and regular citizens. That they are “not similarly situated”…. BS.

    You can also expect a higher court to null this out. Then we’d just have to wait and see if SC takes it, but I’m not sure we want that right now, and not if Hillary or Bernie get in to pick the next justice.

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