Gun owners in Maryland recently got some bad news when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 45 assault weapons banned under Maryland’s law are not protected by the Second Amendment.
Daily Mail reported that the judges made their decision by a 10-4 vote.
“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war,” wrote Judge Robert King, who went on to say that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.
This ruling upheld the Maryland law that banned 45 different kinds of assault weapons and set the limit on gun magazines to 10 rounds. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh had led the charge for the law before it was passed in 2013, arguing that it was “unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment.”
“It’s a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it’s en-banc and for the strength of its decision,” Frosh said after the recent ruling.
In his dissent, Judge William Traxler wrote the decision “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.” The National Rifle Association also slammed the decision.
“It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected ‘arm’ under the Second Amendment,” said NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker. She added that the majority opinion “clearly ignores the Supreme Court’s guidance from District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects arms that are ‘in common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.”
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