Skip to main content

Last year, Maryland passed an assault weapons ban.  

Maryland’s law, passed five months after the mass shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., made the possession or sale of an assault weapon or a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition a misdemeanor in Maryland.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

You would think that any rational supporter of gun rights would draw the line at assault weapons.   However, gun rights advocates challenged the law, arguing that assault weapons are protected.   Judge Blake rejected this argument, noting:  

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,” U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake wrote. . . .

“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,” she wrote.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

By making this argument in opposition to the assault weapons ban, it appears to me that the arguments of the gun rights advocates are pure creative thinking on their part, and are divorced from reality.  The Washington Post noted:

Law enforcement officers who testified in the case could not identify a single time that a Maryland resident used an assault weapon for self-defense.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

This decision is not the end of the challenge to the Maryland assault weapons ban.  

Today on its Facebook page Maryland Shall Issue posted, " we are disappointed to report that the District Court of Maryland has found the AWB (assault weapons ban) provision of SB 281 constitutional.  We will, of course, be appealing the decision."
http://www.wbal.com/...

Stay tuned.  I have a feeling this one will ultimately be headed to the Supreme Court.  

Originally posted to night cat on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Maryland Kos, Firearms Law and Policy, and Shut Down the NRA.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I hate it, our 'beloved' extreme court is next.n/t (6+ / 0-)

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 08:00:55 PM PDT

  •  Not suprising (6+ / 0-)

    I ran the case by a friend who practices law and he said that all 2nd amendment cases are hard to win.  

    The part that surprised me is that the court upheld the distinction between a HBAR AR15 and a non-HBAR.  The difference is that the HBAR means heavy barrel and in this day and age it doesn't mean very much from an accuracy perspective.  Historically HBAR AR15 rifles are used competitively.  However, modern barrel cutting techniques can produce equally accurate and much lighter barrels.  

    There is much more to go into but its late and I only read part of the court's decision.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 08:24:29 PM PDT

  •  I'm surprised by the judge's remark (5+ / 0-)

    that possession of guns, for "self-defense in the home...is at the core of the Second Amendment right." How she (or the SC's current fascist majority) gets there from "a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" is beyond me.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 09:10:15 PM PDT

    •  The well-regulated militia (4+ / 0-)

      that everyone is running out of their living room, of course!

    •  A simple progression. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, gerrilea, ER Doc

      The free state is comprised of individual free villages.
      The free village is comprised of individual free homes.
      The (collective) free state arises from the gathering of individual free homes.

      Think in terms of a team. You cannot make a football team without a bunch of individual football players.

      I seriously cannot for the life of me see how that is so hard for some people to understand.

      MLK never really took back these words - "Maybe we just have to admit that the day of violence is here, and maybe we have to just give up and let violence take its course. The nation won't listen to our voice - maybe it'll heed the voice of violence."

      by JayFromPA on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 12:41:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny how the Framers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North, Calamity Jean

        we're not similarly indirect in their characterization  of other individual rights. Never mind that your description bears no resemblance to what we know about why the 2nd amendment was included in the first place.

        Marx was an optimist.

        by psnyder on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 06:05:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "what we know about why the 2nd amendment"?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc

          The original text was this:

          The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
          To deny the Federal Government power to destroy the constitution itself.

          As Mr. Gerry points out:

              This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the Government; if we could suppose that, in all cases, the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous, and prevent them from bearing arms.
          Because of this argument, the final phrase was omitted.

          Clearly they were discussing an individual right to keep and bear arms.  Nothing more or less.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 06:59:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Really hope this doesn't get to the Supreme Court (0+ / 0-)

    I feel like only bad things can result from that.

  •  US v. Miller (6+ / 0-)

    The SCOTUS found no use for a short barreled shotgun in warfare, and upheld the NFA '34.
    The common shotguns of the day, such as my Grandfather's Remington Auto, came with 28 inch, 30 inch, or longer barrels.  
    Legacies of the blackpowder days, when the powder charge would be largely unburned in a short barrel.
    His had a Cutts Compensator on it, adding yet another palm sized product to the barrel end.  All told, it was 4 1/2 feet tall.

    The SCOTUS ignored the popular pump-action Winchester "Trench Sweeper".  Probably due to a pro-government bias, and the glory of war, being fought by gallant soldiers in set-piece battles, still firmly in their heads.

    I read this quote:

    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,” U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake wrote.
    “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,” she wrote.
    Vague notions of "popular" is a flimsy litmus test at best.
    I'd rather hang my hat on 10th Amendment "reserved to the respective States or to the People" than her opinion of uncommon possession.
    The statistics found in a quick search:
    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    That's "just" the AR-15.
    No Rugers, no AKs, no HKs.

    My non-Maryland experience is that an armed or drug-addled assailant/home invader/burglar/armed robber will take a chance with a handgun.  Trade shots, try to make a grab, something, if you appear unsure or unsteady.  (like awakened)
    Slap the bolt home on a semi-auto rifle, or a "scary black" shotgun (some of which due to magazine size and cosmetic features could be 'assault weapons')?

    You read:  Police responded to reports of a break-in, the homeowner could not provide a complete description.  Residents are urged to lock their homes and autos. Anyone with information, call the police crime line at ...

    •  Good for the judge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North

      With most of those guns, if you shoot at an intruder and miss, you're likely to shoot your neighbor two or three houses away through the intervening walls. At least that's what a guy at a gun shop told me when I inquired about a gun for self protection. I didn't get one.

      Barbara Lee and Howard Dean Speak for me! -9.25 -9.18

      by laurak on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 04:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I felt the same, after reading the snipits here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, DavidMS
      Vague notions of "popular" is a flimsy litmus test at best.
      Does this mean if I don't exercise my right to a free press, religion, peacefully protesting, et al.  They can summarily be abrogated?

      I think so.

      "Since the majority of Americans don't exercise these rights, they're forevermore null and void."

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 06:47:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beretta has announced they are leaving Maryland (5+ / 0-)

    Beretta, the firearms manufacturer, is leaving the state of Maryland because of this law. Initially, they thought they would open a small manufacturing plant in Tennessee. They decided to abandon the state completely and move their entire operation out of state, taking their jobs and taxes, too.

    Many of these firearms companies are considering no longer selling to state agencies where these restrictions are passing. Beretta was asked, by many customers (I think via petition, I don't remember) who are veterans, to punish the federal govt by no longer producing the M9 (the official handgun of the US Army) after the current contract expires.

    •  Sounds like an excuse to do what they were (0+ / 0-)

      (most likely) already planning to do - i.e., to move from a high wage to a low wage state.

      And I don't get the logic of how refusing to sell their product to somebody punishes the potential customer.  I mean, it's not like there are no alternative suppliers out there .. . .

      •  No, it was a direct result (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea

        They manufacture assault rifles there. The law prohibits their own employees from owning something they make. There were also some logistical issues related to their manufacture.

        These petitions aren't a focus on Beretta. There are a large swath of gun organizations that are trying to convince firearm, ammo and accessory companies to refuse to do business with any local, state or federal agency located in states that have oppressive gun control laws.

  •  Where in the Constitution? (0+ / 0-)

    I need some help!
    I just finished reading the Constitution for the 3rd time and I can't find the "right to bear arms" anywhere in the Constitution!
    Would some point it out to me?

  •  The Supreme Court has already ruled outright bans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    are unconstitutional.

    I'm as progressive a Democrat as you can get, but these laws literally make NO SENSE. Banning something arbitrarily called "assault" because of how it looks, regardless of function is just silly.

    Further, no it is NOT the guns that are the issue, it is the WHO you allow to own/sell them that has always been the issue.

    You set up partial controls on sales, leave huge gaps and loopholes for private/gun show sales, and then wonder why the current laws aren't "working".

    The continued utter refusal to come to terms with the mentally ill, compounded with the utter lack of understanding that any policy has to be UNIFORM across all 50 states.

    Otherwise the nut just goes over to the next state, gets the thing, and comes back to shoot you with it.

    The medical records of gun license holders/applicants must be accessible and part of the approval process. Records ALL THE WAY BACK TO BIRTH. No "juvenile" exemptions, not on this subject.

    Doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists must be REQUIRED BY LAW to put in the record any concerns regarding emotional stability, and mental well being of patients AND to inform the local police about possible concerns BY LAW, there needs to be a built in HIPPA waiver in firearms licensing.

    I find it insulting to be told that I as a sane law abiding citizen am to be banned from owning an AR15 or DPMS 308 or a Barrett 50 cal, or any handgun with a 7+ round clip, etc, etc .... because society refuses to address the REAL issues of gun violence. 90% of mass shooting incidents are an INSANE asshole who got a gun. Or very serious criminal activity that the police should be putting an end to, that's what we pay them for .... people who aren't going to obey any gun laws no matter how onerous you make them.

    All this decision will accomplish short term is another HUGE RUSH on purchasing assault rifles all over the country, especially the mentally Ill that haven't yet. And a huge rush on ammo sales.

    Ultimately Scotus will strike this decision down, apparently ...

    Res Judicata. [Latin, A thing adjudged.] A rule that a final judgment on the merits by a court having jurisdiction is conclusive.

     ... is not something this court understands.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site