Federal Appeals court upholds Maryland assault rifle ban

Close-up of AR MR2 device from

Close-up of AR MR2 device from

Connecticut State PoliceYesterday a federal appeals court upheld Maryland's ban on so-called assault weapons, saying ownership of such guns is "not protected by the Second Amendment". While courts exist to protect individual rights, we are not the instruments of anyone's political agenda, we are not empowered to court mass consequences we can not predict and we are not impaneled to add indefinitely to the growing list of subjects on which the states of our Union and the citizens of our country no longer have any meaningful say. The Tuesday ruling reverses a previous Fourth Circuit panel decision that said the Maryland law violated Second Amendment rights.

Maryland has a complex recent history regarding the legality of assault weapons: In 2013, Maryland passed a law - the Firearms Safety Act - barring the sale, possession, transfer or purchase of assault weapons.

The majority disagreed in its opinion Tuesday siding with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh who said the Second Amendment does not prevent legislators from passing measures created to protect the public from gun violence.

The question at the heart of the case, Kolbe v. Hogan, is whether the guns and magazines that Maryland banned qualify as "dangerous and unusual weapons", which the Supreme Court has indicated are outside the scope of the Second Amendment. "Especially when you look at the carnage at Newtown and elsewhere around the country". "In concluding that the Second Amendment does not even apply, the majority has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms".

"We are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are "like" M-16 rifles - "weapons that are most useful in military service" - which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment's reach", Judge Robert King wrote for the 10-4 decision. The high court past year declined to review bans on firearms that NY and CT - and more recently a Chicago suburb - have classified as "assault weapons".

Maryland passed a sweeping gun-control measure after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 20 children and six educators in CT.

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