A U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Maryland’s Ban On Assault Rifles


Gun control laws are always controversial, and Maryland’s ban on rifles with certain features has been no different. The ban faced a major test recently when it went before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The court, however, has not just ruled the law constitutional, but has also ruled that it cannot extend the Second Amendment to “weapons of war.”

Maryland’s law is extremely specific and is similar to the federal “assault weapons” ban that was enacted in 1994 and expired in 2004. Maryland’s law bans certain accessories and certain types of high-density ammunition for private use on certain types and brands of firearm, although federal authorities and law enforcement can still use those accessories. That is, more or less, how it’s constitutional in the first place, although the question of constitutionality will likely be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court sooner rather than later.

The law, it should also be noted, is not particularly strict. Like the federal law it was patterned on, there are enormous loopholes, such as guns being “grandfathered” in if they were owned before the restrictions were passed, and a 2004 study of the federal ban noted that it was easy to get around for both private owners and manufacturers. Still, this proves that states may have some room, under the Second Amendment, to make the choices Congress won’t make.

(via The Daily Dot)

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