A judge took the side of Maryland’s new anti-gun laws on Tuesday when she ruled that AR-15 and AK style rifles fall outside the protection of the 2nd amendment, saying they are dangerous and unusual firearms.
The ruling emanated from the case of Kolbe et al v. O’Malley et al which put a number of plaintiffs including gun rights groups against Maryland in a challenge against the state’s 2013 gun laws which in effect banned many semi-automatic rifles.
Some of the plaintiffs that took action against the anti-gun laws passed in the state included the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, a 1995 appointment to the court by President Clinton, said this in her 47 page report:
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.
The judge’s comments make it clear that she has an obvious misunderstanding of both the intent of the 2nd amendment and the millions of gun owners who own AR-15’s and other semi-automatic rifles.
If other judges follow suit in supporting the Clinton appointed judges ruling it will drastically change the landscape of the nation’s gun laws, but we still believe this ruling can be overturned as the judge has shown a profound lack of objectivity in her ruling, which is clear from the statements made in the report.
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