Appeals Court Rejects Ruling on Maryland Assault Weapons Ban

fourth supreme court

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 While this won’t end the ban, it does mean that the recent ruling upholding the gun ban is no longer valid, and that the lower court must review their decision using stricter standards.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.”

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Ro Gal July 28, 2017, 4:57 pm

    Fellow Chief,

    Fast forward to the present and you see Trump appointed a pretty good pick, despite the obstruction from Dems on Cap Hill.
    MD is pretty well gone as far as a conservative state goes. Certainly many counties are Red but one Repub governor every 2 terms is one step forward, 2 steps back. My plan is to leave this state when I retire, to a “friendly, warmer state”. As the tax base shrinks in the once rich or working class counties (Montgomery, P.G., and even Baltimore)the cities go bankrupt like Detroit and others.

  • Mark J Elliott June 2, 2017, 6:49 am

    They dont call it MURDERLAND for nothing. You have better chances of making it out of Bahgdad then most parts of Baltimore.

  • Sean February 6, 2016, 11:00 pm

    Go Hogan REALLY,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Once he got in office he refuses to help the people,his words I voted against it before I took office but know I accept it as law ……Wow the people shorted again..He could have made a great statement,righted a wrong,stood with the people,hell lead the people,,,I guess to much to ask for !!!!!!!!

  • Mikial February 5, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Maryland is a Nazi state that makes it next to impossible for law abiding citizens to carry a gun to protect themselves, and even a pain to own one, but allows criminals and inner city gangster scum to do whatever they want.

    My advice . . if you live there . . move! Now!

    • Richard W Sands August 24, 2018, 9:33 am

      Well stated and absolutely true. After a lifetime of being subjected to extreme repression in The Peoples Republic of Maryland, we’ve made plans to move out and move my successful tax-paying business to another state. BTW…I do have a CCP in MD that is about to expire. Renewing it will be an expensive and arduous nightmare as was obtaining the original just 3 years ago. I’ve given up on my home state of 66 years and will be leaving in early 2019.

  • Joe R February 5, 2016, 3:30 pm

    It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out considering NY’s UNsafe Act is very similar to Maryland’s ban.

  • noduty2submit February 5, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Exercise your right to keep and bear Arms; don’t beg for the privilege to “carry firearms.”
    Learn why Gun “licenses” are NOT LAW, and why they are COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS.
    Learn why should never “carry,” and why you should refer to your guns as “side arms” or “arms,” but NOT “firearms” or “weapons.” Never “store” but rather “keep” them in your home… see legal definition of “STORE”
    Know your Rights, Assert your Rights, Don’t beg for privileges!
    watch –

    STORE, v. To keep merchandise for safe custody, to be delivered in the same condition as when received, where the safe-keeping is the principal object of deposit, and not the consumption or sale. O’Niel v. Buffalo F. Ins. Co., 3 N.Y. 122. Town of Newberry v. Dorrah, 105 S.C. 28, 89 S.E. 402, 403. (Black’s Law, 4th Ed. page 1589.)

    STORAGE. Safekeeping of goods in a warehouse or other depository. Lincoln Say . Bank of Brook- lyn v. Brown, Em.App., 137 F.2d 228, 230, 231. (Black’s Law, 4th Ed. page 1589.)

    • Mo February 8, 2016, 12:44 am

      You are a sovereign citizen. You people are delirious. KEEP and STORE that in you ARCHIVE (pun intended) !

  • Chief February 5, 2016, 11:59 am

    This whole conversation shows how much power the courts have to infringe on our 2A rights which brings us to the 2016 election and the 2 – 4 possible seats on the Supreme Court they will appoint .A vote for any Democrat is a vote against our freedom and I will get flack for this but a lot of people are not looking back at Trumps past .He worries me concerning SCOTUS because he is not a conservative .And the justice picks will affect all of our rights well past Trumps term if he were to be elected .Its food for serious thought.

    • LVE4GOD February 5, 2016, 3:15 pm

      You may get flak, but you SHOULDN’T. Trump tries to paint himself with a Reagan brush — even stealing verbatim his campaign slogan — but Reagan didn’t switch from liberal to conservative in a few years and suddenly run for president…he paid his dues as governor. The only folks who give you flak are mindless Trump worshippers, who are no better than mindless Obama worshippers were in ’08. Every candidate should be intensely scrutinized, and his history concerning the 2A (and other issues of concern to conservatives) analyzed for consistency.

      • tomsawyer May 20, 2016, 5:36 am

        and you think Clinton is better when it comes to 2A? mindless arent you?

    • tomsawyer May 20, 2016, 5:34 am

      wow. and you think Clinton will recognize your 2A rights???? to not vote for Trump is a vote for that hag.

  • Pfc. Louden Downey February 5, 2016, 9:31 am

    Downey is baffled and afraid, and speaks to Dawson
    Hal? What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!
    Yeah we did. We were supposed to fight for people who couldn’t fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willy.

    • LVE4GOD February 5, 2016, 3:17 pm

      Okay. . .”A Few Good Men” was an entertaining film (if you can put aside Aaron Sorkin’s raging liberalism and Tom Cruise’s raging Scientology), but what does your quote have to do with this article???

  • Ninjaman February 5, 2016, 7:43 am

    This is great news for Marylander’s but Brian Frosh will continue the assault on our Second Amendment rights. This man and his ilk need to be extracted from office and Maryland residence need to continue the systematic removal of all liberal democrats holding public authoritarianism in our cherished State House. GO HOGAN!!!

    • Richard W Sands August 24, 2018, 9:20 am

      I have a Maryland Concealed Carry Permit and I voted for Republican Hogan. He still doesn’t have the stones to support our 2A rights. My permit is expiring next year and I’m just tired of the Maryland crap. We’re moving out of this repressive state and I’m taking my tax-paying business of 37 years with me.

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