Fourth Circuit Upholds
Maryland Rifle, Magazine Ban

By Johannes Paulsen. February 21st, 2017

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. .......

One might have easily been forgiven for assuming this was the 9th Court!
A judgement based on the ''military weapons of the time" assessment is just the sneaky way to pounce on certain modern firearms that just happen to have a lookalike association with "weapons of war". An AR-15 is NOT an M-16 and we see again that cosmetics themselves are being used to justify Second Amendment infringements. Is a Berretta 92F, as has been issued to military personel in the past, therefore any less a ''weapon of war"? -- and that for sure was not 'in current use at the time' but is a viable and legitimate handgun choice.

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