In what looks to be a terrible ruling for Maryland gun owners a federal judge has essentially ruled that guns that were regulated by the state of Maryland last year, including AR-15 and AK style rifles (as well as other magazine fed, semi-auto rifles with certain features), “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms,” according to a 47 page opinion by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake.
The case in question is Kolbe et al v. O’Malley et al which named numerous plaintiffs including the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), among others which challenged the constitutionality of Maryland’s strict new gun laws.
Here are some of Blake’s other comments [emphasis mine],
Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.
First, the court is not persuaded that assault weapons are commonly possessed based on the absolute number of those weapons owned by the public. Even accepting that there are 8.2 million assault weapons in the civilian gun stock, as the plaintiffs claim, assault weapons represent no more than 3% of the current civilian gun stock, and ownership of those weapons is highly concentrated in less than 1% of the U.S. population.
The court is also not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ claims that assault weapons are used infrequently in mass shootings and murders of law enforcement officers. The available statistics indicate that assault weapons are used disproportionately to their ownership in the general public and, furthermore, cause more injuries and more fatalities when they are used.
As for their claims that assault weapons are well-suited for self-defense, the plaintiffs proffer no evidence beyond their desire to possess assault weapons for self-defense in the home that they are in fact commonly used, or possessed, for that purpose.
Finally, despite the plaintiffs’ claims that they would like to use assault weapons for defensive purposes, assault weapons are military-style weapons designed for offensive use, and are equally, or possibly even more effective, in functioning and killing capacity as their fully automatic versions.
Blake further points out that so called “assault weapons” are “disproportionately represented in mass shootings”.
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