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Maryland Assault Weapons Ban

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Posted on April 26 2018

Assault Weapons like the AR15..

...are NOT protected by the Second Amendment


Some background to help better contextualize this entry:


Shortly after the Sandy Hook Massacre, many states felt compelled to “do something”. The State of Maryland passed:


Firearm Safety Act of 2013

  • Firearms defined under State law as “assault long guns,” including firearms specifically enumerated under § 5-101(r)(2) of the Public Safety Article and their copies.
  • Firearms defined under State law as “assault pistols,” including firearms specifically enumerated under § 4-303(c) of the Criminal Law Article and their copies.
  • Long guns as to which the Department has reached a conclusion with respect to whether they are banned assault long guns or copycat weapons.


See link Maryland State Police BANNED Weapons


  • Kolbe v. Hogan, 813 F. 3d 160 Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit 2016 via a panel of 3 judges, originally reversed the District Court’s ruling, which opined that MD’s assault weapons law was in fact constitutional


  • the 4th Circuit ruling was vacated when the Court of Appeals agreed to an en banc Hearing: this means the whole of the Court agreed to hear the case de novo (roughly translates to; the first time)

Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit


February 21, 2017 in a 10/4 ruling...the Court upheld Maryland’s FSA


  • “We have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage,” Judge King wrote, referring to the Supreme Court case: District of Columbia v. Heller.


  • District of Columbia v Heller, SCOTUS ruling specifically carved out “military style assault rifles” and “high capacity magazines”


  • “enable shooters to inflict mass casualties while depriving victims and law enforcement officers of opportunities to escape or overwhelm the shooters while they reload their weapons.”


  • “Disenfranchising the American people on this life and death subject would be the gravest and most serious of steps,” Judge Wilkinson wrote. “It is their community, not ours. It is their safety not ours. It is their lives, not ours.”


  • “As long as the weapon chosen is one commonly possessed by the American people for lawful purposes — and the rifles at issue here most certainly are,” wrote Judge Traxler


At the CORE of the 88 page Opinion was…the AR15 was originally designed at the request of the US Army. Simply put: AR15 are weapons of war, designed to inflict maximum damage in the shortest amount of time.

Summary, for now at least:

SCOTUS has declined to hear this case, the 4th CCOA Order stands. Meaning Maryland’s FSA is in fact lawful AND assault rifles like the AR15 AND high capacity magazines are NOT protected by the 2nd Amendment, because they are considered weapons of war, for military use. The rational explained below, I’ve highlighted the rationale in green.

When I say the Stte of Maryland took on the NRA, they really did and they prevailed

Just look below at the parties involved in this particular litigation. 


4thCCoA Order MD FSA is LAWFUL, assault weapons NOT protected by the 2nd Amendment


The Fourth Circuit unequivocally stated that Weapons such as the AR-15 are NOT protected by the Second Amendment, the Fourth Circuit largely cited the Supreme Court’s Heller Case, which Justice Scalia took the position that “Military” like Weapons and “Weapons of War” are not protected. In Heller the SCOTUS intentionality and thoughtfully carved out these “killing machine” weapons. So for now, the Fourth Circuit Court ruling stands. At least until the SCOTUS agreed to hear the case or cases.


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