A federal appeals courts has upheld Maryland’s ban on 45 different kinds of assault weapons, ruling that the weapons aren’t protected by the 2nd Amendment.
“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote in the ruling.
According to NBC News, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said it’s “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, pointing out that all of the court’s judges participated.
In his dissent to the ruling, Judge William Traxler wrote that the majority ruling “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.”
Frosh took the lead on getting the law passed passed when he was a state senator in 2013.
“For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland’s law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand,” Traxler wrote.
According to National Rifle Association estimates, 5 to 10 million AR-15s (one of the guns banned by Maryland’s law) are in lawful circulation. The NRA’s Jennifer Baker said a possible appeal on the ban is being explored.
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