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Federal judge upholds critical provisions of Maryland gun control law

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Maryland [official website] on Tuesday upheld two key provisions of the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013 [legislative materials] that ban certain types of "assault weapons" and a limit gun magazines to 10 rounds. Judge Catherine Blake found [AP report] that the state's law served the government's legitimate interest in ensuring public safety while not burdening the central Second Amendment right as articulated by the Supreme Court. Opponents of the law had contended that the restrictions were too broad, banning firearms that can be used for self-defense. The court rejected this argument, citing data showing that there was no relevant evidence of residents using an assault weapon or needing to fire more than 10 rounds in self-defense. Also this week, the Office of Maryland Governor Martin O' Malley [official website] announced [press release] that violent crime and property crime in the state has dropped to the lowest rates since 1975, according to 2013 year-end crime data compiled by state police.

In July the Missouri Supreme Court [official website] announced that they would hear legal challenges [JURIST report] to a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with state gun rights that will appear on the ballot in August. Proposed Constitutional Amendment 5 [text] would ask voters whether to enhance the right to keep and bear arms in the constitution. In June a judge for the US District Court for the District of Colorado [official website] upheld [JURIST report] two Colorado statutes that expanded mandatory background checks and banned high capacity magazines. In January a judge for the US District Court for the District of Connecticut [official website] upheld [JURIST report] the constitutionality of the state's new gun control law [text, PDF], while still acknowledging the Second Amendment [Cornell LII backgrounder] rights of gun owners.

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