A district judge ruled that AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles are not protected by the Second Amendment. The strict gun laws, which went into effect in Maryland last year, were being legally questioned in U.S. District Court. Judge Catherine C. Blake released a 47-page ruling detailing her decision on the gun rights case yesterday afternoon.
Infringement upon Second Amendment rights was at the heart of the legal challenge to the Maryland firearms regulations. The stringent gun laws imposed in the state pertained to so-called assault weapons or assault rifles like the extremely popular AR-15 rifles.
U.S. District Judge Blake said:
“The law seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to inure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines. The Act substantially serves the government’s interest in protecting public safety, and it does so without significantly burdening what the Supreme Court has now explained is the core Second Amendment right of ‘law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”
Many gun control advocates have argued that large capacity magazines enhance the death toll and injuries sustained during mass shooting. As the viral video created by Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell last year clearly illustrated, even a novice shooter armed with only five-round capacity magazines could fire, reload, and repeatedly empty small capacity magazines in less than a minute. The video also shows a trained law enforcement officer attempting to tackle and disarm both the female novice shooter and a seasoned male shooter to no avail.
The Maryland semi-automatic rifle ban was proposed by Governor Martin O’Malley last year in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 is one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the United States. Chicago also has extremely rigid gun control laws, though the city still has one of the highest murder rates in the country.
The U.S. District Judge also had this to say in her ruling upholding the semi-automatic rifles ban in Maryland:
“In sum, the defendants have met their burden to demonstrate a reasonable fit between the Firearm Safety Act and the government’s substantial interests in protecting public safety and reducing the negative effects of firearm-related crime. Accordingly, the Act does not violate the Second Amendment.”
The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 added a total of 45 guns to the list of banned firearms in the state, and limits handgun magazines to holding no more than 10 rounds.
Do you think the AR-15 ban is an infringement upon the Second Amendment?
[Image Via: Motohide Miwa/Wikimedia Commons]