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Fourth Circuit Upholds Maryland's Ban On Semi-Automatic Rifles

Fourth Circuit Upholds Maryland's Ban On Semi-Automatic Rifles

Seven states and the District of Columbia ban semi-automatic rifles, and several of those bans have faced court challenges as the state and federal courts attempt to determine whether there can be any reasonable limits on the Second Amendment.

That holding resolves what had been a split in the federal circuits on the correct level of scrutiny for laws that impinge on Second Amendment rights.

The court separately rejected claims that Maryland's assault weapons ban violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. "Most other courts have assumed that they fall inside and are still subject to ban". "If you look at what the courts of appeals have done, there's been strong dissenting opinions as well".

"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".

That's right: According to the 4th Circuit, the military-style guns used in a disproportionate share of the mass killings in the US are outside the aegis of the Second Amendment because they are most suited for military use.

"Both before and after Newtown, similar military-style rifles and detachable magazines have been used to perpetrate mass shootings in places whose names have become synonymous with the slaughters that occurred there", he wrote in the opinion. That ruling limited the right to ownership of handguns for self-defense within the home. Justice Scalia said, however, that not every gun meets that definition.

The original objective of the Second Amendment was to allow private citizens to own weapons for militia use.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, issued the ruling Tuesday. Why are they not considered "weapons of war?"




"It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected "arm" under the Second Amendment", she said, saying the NRA estimates between 5 million and 10 million AR-15s are now owned legally in the United States.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of appeals has ruled that Maryland's assault weapons ban is constitutional. Heller concluded that the Second Amendment does indeed allow the right to bear arms, but isn't unlimited - a decision that opened up the discussion on whether assault weapons go beyond the limits of Second Amendment protections.

Judge William Traxler was one of the judges to dissent.

The majority opinion reverses a decision by a smaller panel of judges from the court in February 2016.

Maryland's law does not ban all long guns, rifles or semiautomatic rifles.

The court ruled that the banned assault weapons "are not protected by the Second Amendment". Harvie Wilkinson wrote that legislatures are better equipped than courts to tackle the problem of gun control, and thus judges should be wary of "constitutionalizing" these legislative choices.

The case can still be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The NSSF, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, and Maryland gun owners had challenged the law in court on constitutional grounds, saying it infringes on their Second Amendment rights.

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