Gun Rights Advocates Challenge Maryland’s ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban At High Court


On Monday, gun rights advocates challenged Maryland’s 2013 Firearm Safety Act in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking judges to protect semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines from banning.

On Friday, lawyers filed a 325-page petition for the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association to the nation’s highest court on behalf of Stephen Kolbe, as well as a handful of shooting clubs and gun shops. The petition asked the Supreme Court to reverse a 2013 law, which prohibited the sale of firearms, classified as “assault weapons”.

AR-15 WeaponUnder the law, firearms with certain aesthetic characteristics and ability to hold magazines with more than 10 rounds could be deemed military-style assault weapons.

Attorneys for the advocates argue that the 2013 law’s ban on such weapons violates the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake ruled in 2014 that semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15 “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms.”

In 2016, a Circuit Court ruling overturned Blake’s ruling, calling for a retrial.

In February the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban.

Judge Robert B. King wrote, “We concluded – contrary to the now-vacated decision of our prior panel – that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.”

The executive director of the NRA, Chris Cox, does not agree with the decision.

“The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense,” Cox said in a statement on Friday. “The popular rifles and standard magazines banned in Maryland are some of the best tools for self-defense. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this egregious decision.”

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