Federal appeals court upholds Maryland assault weapons ban

Federal appeals court upholds Maryland assault weapons ban

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that Maryland’s assault weapons ban is constitutional. A lower court ruling last year found that Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act [text, PDF], violated the Second Amendment [text]. Based on the US Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller [opinion], the appeals court found that assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment. The court also stated that, “some of today’s weapons lack constitutional protected precisely because they ‘are most useful in military service.” The court also found that the ban does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment [text].

Gun control remains a divisive issue [JURIST op-ed], according to Allen Rostron [official profile] of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law [official website]. In February the New Hampshire House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [JURIST report] that would repeal the law prohibiting state citizens from carrying concealed firearms without a permit. That same month the US House of Representatives [official website] voted to repeal an Obama-era gun regulation [JURIST report] that required mental health information to be shared with the national gun background check system. In December Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website] signed Senate Bill 199 [JURIST report], making it legal to carry concealed weapons at daycare facilities and onto college campuses. In September the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] restored [JURIST report] gun ownership rights of individuals convicted of minor crimes. Earlier that month the New Jersey Second Amendment Society [advocacy website] filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit against the state’s Attorney General alleging the state’s stun gun ban is unconstitutional. In June the US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a state law conviction on reckless domestic assault is sufficient to bar possession of a firearm under federal law. Earlier in June Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a bill [JURIST report] requiring gun owners to be listed on an FBI database, notifying police if a Hawaii citizen is arrested in another state and providing a continuous criminal record check on those individuals seeking to possess a firearm.