Gun rights organization asks U.S. Supreme Court to review Maryland ban on assault weapons

Law designated specified firearms as assault weapons and prohibited them from being transported, possessed, sold, transferred or purchased in state.

Updated: February 15, 2022 - 11:14pm

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Mountain States Legal Foundation has filed an amicus brief in the Bianchi v. Frosh legal battle asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

The brief, filed on Monday, asks the nation’s top court to order lower courts to send all records of the case from prior decisions to the Supreme Court.

At the center of the case is Maryland’s 2013 Firearms Safety Act, which designated specified firearms as assault weapons and prohibited them from being transported into the state or from being possessed, sold, transferred or purchased in the state.

Mountain State Legal Foundation is a Colorado-based nonprofit that is a project of the Center to Keep and Bear Arms, which works to preserve private property rights and advance litigation to protect American’s right to self-defense.

“Many lower courts have found ‘creative’ ways to sidestep the Supreme Court’s clear rulings on gun rights, but the Fourth Circuit’s test is among the worst,” CKBA’s Cody J. Wisniewski said in a news release. “If a court thinks a weapon is more appropriate for the military than for civilians, they exclude it completely from Second Amendment protection.”

Wisniewski said it is “startling to think how this standard could be applied – especially given the number of public officials who regard all guns as ‘weapons of war,' and see no place for them in our everyday lives.”

He said the fear of assault weapons is irrational, as “they’re peaceably owned by millions of Americans in the vast majority of states.

“These are effective tools for self-defense, and the Constitution protects the People’s natural right to acquire and use them,” Wisniewski said.

The organization claims the circuit court decisions upholding the bans “rely on untenable reasoning.” The filing cites the Fourth Circuit court’s rule that would “authorize prohibiting the most common arms of the colonial and Founding periods,” which is the “all-in-one American long gun” that the group says was made for “hunting, personal defense, and militia use.”

According to the brief, the Seventh Circuit “favored arms like those of the Founding era,” but the court upheld a “ban on self-loading firearms” which are a type that “preceded the Second Amendment by a century-and-a-half.”

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