The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sent back the lower court’s decision upholding the Maryland “assault weapons” ban. While this won’t end the ban, it does mean that the recent ruling upholding the gun ban is no longer valid, and that the lower court must review their decision using stricter standards.
Writing for the three-judge appellate court panel that heard the case, Kolbe v. Maryland, Chief Judge William B. Traxler wrote: “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment — ‘the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570,635 (2008), and we are compelled by Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), as well as our own precedent in the wake of these decisions to conclude that the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard or review for Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim.”
The court vacated the district court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ claims and remanded the case to the lower court, ordering that it apply the appropriate strict standard of review.
“We are greatly heartened by the Fourth Circuit panel’s ruling today,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), one of the lead plaintiffs in this case. “As this important case goes forward, NSSF will continue to work with our co-plaintiffs to ensure that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights are protected and that the lawful commerce in firearms is restored in support of this constitutional protection.”
Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in reaction to today’s ruling by the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Kolbe v. Maryland case. The case challenges the legality of Maryland’s 2013 ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The 2-1 decision sends the gun-control law back to a lower court for review because it “implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment.”
“The Fourth Circuit’s ruling is an important victory for the Second Amendment,” said Cox. Maryland’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines clearly violates our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The highest level of judicial scrutiny should apply when governments try to restrict our Second Amendment freedoms.”