The Maryland ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” is now the hands of the Supreme Court.
Last Friday, plaintiffs in the case of Kolbe v. Hogan filed a petition asking SCOTUS to review a 4th Circuit ruling upholding the Free State’s prohibition on those scary black rifles and menacing magazines.
The high court can opt to hear the case or it can choose to pass on it. If it passes, then the 4th Circuit’s asinine decision — that basically says AR- and AK-pattern rifles are unfit for civilian ownership because they’re weapons of war — would stand.
Over the years SCOTUS has been gun shy (forgive the pun) when it comes to reviewing cases that delve into this particular topic. Maybe this time it will be different now that conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch is on the bench. Then again, maybe not (The court never took up a case on this issue when Justice Scalia was there). Either way, sooner or later we’re going to need clarification that the Second Amendment means exactly what it says.
“Lower courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment for too long, and the Kolbe decision crossed yet another line,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, in a statement.
“The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The popular rifles and standard magazines banned in Maryland are some of the best tools for self-defense. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this egregious decision.”
In addition to hope, we’re going to need some luck too. SCOTUS receives around 10,000 petitions each year. Of those, it only picks about 80 cases to hear. Yes, that means that less than one percent of cases make it before the bench.
We’ll keep you posted on this. In the meantime, say a little prayer and keep your fingers crossed.