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A divided Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has just upheld the Maryland law banning certain rifles and magazines, in the matter of Kolbe v. Hogan.
The case centered on the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (FSA), passed in the panic following the attack on the Sandy Hook elementary school. The law banned the possession of certain semiautomatic center fire rifles and pistols that it refers to as "assault weapons" as well as detachable magazines that have a capacity of more than ten rounds of ammunition. The law had been challenged by a bevy of plaintiffs arguing violation of the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment and incorporated to the several states via the Fourteenth.
Last year, a three judge panel of Fourth Circuit held that strict scrutiny should apply when considering whether or not the act violated the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights. It's not surprising that the full Fourth Circuit decided to hear the case en banc, given that this was a matter of first impression, (and, I note, some other Circuits have effectively been applying the lower review standard of intermediate scrutiny on Second Amendment issues.)
The Court's decision had a bit of a vengeful tone from the start, where the court spilled a bit of ink emotionally justifying its decision by talking about the Sandy Hook attack and others. .......
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