Assault Weapon Ban

4th Circuit Upholds Maryland's 'Assault Weapon' Ban

The appeals court says the prohibited guns and magazines are outside the scope of the Second Amendment.


Connecticut State Police

Yesterday a federal appeals court upheld Maryland's ban on so-called assault weapons, saying ownership of such guns is "not protected by the Second Amendment." The decision, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, overturned a 2016 ruling by a three-judge panel of the same court that said Maryland's law should be subject to "strict scrutiny" because it imposes a "substantial burden" on the right to keep and bear arms.

Maryland's "assault weapon" ban, which it expanded after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, bans the sale or transfer of 81 listed gun models, along with "their copies," plus all semiautomatic centerfire rifles that accept detachable magazines and have two or more of these features: a folding stock, a grenade/flare launcher, or a flash suppressor. The law also bans the sale or transfer of magazines than can hold more than 10 rounds. Violators (buyers as well as sellers) can go to prison for up to three years.

The question at the heart of the case, Kolbe v. Hogan, is whether the guns and magazines that Maryland banned qualify as "dangerous and unusual weapons," which the Supreme Court has indicated are outside the scope of the Second Amendment. That category, the Court said in the landmark Second Amendment case District of Columbia v. Heller, includes "weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like." By contrast, weapons "in common use for lawful purposes" are included in the constitutional right to armed self-defense.

In Kolbe, the 10-judge majority concludes that the guns and magazines covered by Maryland's ban are "dangerous and unusual" because they are "exceptionally lethal weapons of war" that are not appropriate for civilian use: "We are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are 'like' 'M-16 rifles'—'weapons that are most useful in military service'—which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment's reach." The four dissenters, by contrast, note that "assault weapons" and "large-capacity magazines" are indisputably "in common use for lawful purposes," since they are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans: "As long as the weapon chosen is one commonly possessed by the American people for lawful purposes—and the rifles at issue here most certainly are—the state has very little say about whether its citizens should keep it in their homes for protection."

Contrary to the majority's assertion that the guns Maryland banned are similar to the M-16, none of them is capable of automatic fire. The majority's judgment that folding stocks, flare launchers, and flash suppressors make rifles "exceptionally lethal" is dubious. It is also irrelevant, because the Supreme Court did not say the Second Amendment allows bans on exceptionally lethal weapons. It said the Second Amendment allows bans on "dangerous and unusual" weapons that are not "in common use for lawful purposes," and that description plainly does not apply to rifles that are among the most popular in the country. The argument that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are more lethal than smaller magazines is more logical but still irrelevant, since "large-capacity magazines" are very common, sold standard with many handguns and rifles.

Despite the apparent conflict with Heller (and with McDonald v. Chicago, which extended Heller's logic to state and local governments), the Supreme Court so far has not agreed to review any decisions dealing with "assault weapon" bans. In addition to the 4th Circuit, two other federal appeals courts—the D.C. Circuit and the 7th Circuit—have upheld such laws since Heller, while the 9th Circuit has upheld a local law restricting magazine size.

In 2015, when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the 7th Circuit's decision, Justice Clarence Thomas vigorously dissented. "The Seventh Circuit ultimately upheld a ban on many common semiautomatic firearms based on speculation about the law's potential policy benefits," Thomas wrote. "If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing….The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons."

While both the D.C. Circuit and the 7th Circuit recognized (or assumed) that "assault weapon" bans implicate the Second Amendment, even if they ultimately pass constitutional muster, the 4th Circuit says Maryland's law has nothing to do with the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. "In concluding that the Second Amendment does not even apply," the dissenters say, "the majority has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms."

NEXT: Public School Bans Pro-Diversity Posters to Avoid Offending Pro-Trump Snowflakes

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. Only New York, New Jersey, and California are worse.

      1. Oh shit, I forgot Massachusetts. My bad.

      2. You forgot Connecticut as well.

        1. The words you are all looking for are “New England”

          1. Not at all. New Hampshire’s governor just signed a constitutional carry bill into law solidifying with Maine & Vermont a nice little block of firearm freedom in the NE corner of the country.

            1. yep. Too bad we Westerners haev to run a very frightening gauntlet to GET there.

          2. Just Southern New England to be honest.

      3. I hear Hawaii is pretty much up there with the Northeast (modulo VT)

    2. Fuck the 4th Circuit (And the 7th, D.C. and 9th).

    3. We should go have some beers and then go kick Maryland’s ass. Then do some doughnut’s on Maryland’s lawn! Teach those assholes a lesson.

  1. Note the court’s continued silence on semi-automatic woodchippers.

    1. Dear Preet,

      Please note that this should in no way be construed as an endorsement that said majority of judges should be fed into any hypothetical semi-automatic woodchipper, with flash suppressor and folding stock.

      It would not need a high capacity magazine, because we are only talking about ten judges, anyway.

      1. Ten for you, how about the rest of us?

      2. Worst case scenario is some fomthem might have to share.

  2. The fact that people are not dying by the boatload in states where there is no capacity limit or regulations on which type of muzzle device you throw on your rifle SHOULD make an honest person see right through the state’s arguments.

    Instead we get mental gymnastics to ban guns on the feelz.

    1. Just across the Mason Dixon line in PA you can buy pretty much whatever you want without any gun wussy restrictions or idiotic laws. And in violent crime rates, Maryland is 10th highest and PA 27th.

    2. FACT is, killings using ALL long guns combined as a class of weapons number far fewer than killings by the use of bare hands and/or feet, and the carpenter’s standard claw hammer, available at the Home Cheapo for under fiedollah for a cheapie from China, up to some snazzy modela costing most of a C Note. Those latter are quite a bit more lethal than the 8 ounce chink cheapies. Some weigh in with 28 and 32 ounce heads, have waffle faces, and handles nearing 19 inches in length. NONE of them have adjustable stocks, suppressors, or the shoulder thing that goes up, so I suppoe they are alright….. but they STILL can kill a man very quickly. They can even be pressed into service to make required adjustments on the large capacity Wood Chippers suitable for neutralising entire courts.

      1. I’ve had a high-priced Estwig for 30 years now. They can have it when they pry it from my cold, bruised fingers.

    3. Liberalthink – if there were no weapons, no one would kill anyone and we could all sit down together and sing kumbaya with each other ’til the end of time.

  3. obviously the plaintiffs should file cert with SCOTUS. but whether Gorsuch will find these restrictions “light” enough for him to consider Constitutional is not clear to anyone.

    the joke could be on 2A supporters.

  4. This seems like a case pretty ripe for SCOTUS review and overturn. The logic is so absurd it has to be buried in 100 pages of sophistry.

    1. Plus it means they had to completely ignore that the Constitution clearly anticipated private ownership of the most powerful military weapons of the day. After all, you can’t go out, take and plunder ships of war without owning ships of war. Article I, Section 8, “To … grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

    2. This seems like a pretty good case for judicial impeachment.

      1. Yep. And congress really needs to start stripping some of these courts of their powers. Judicial over reach is at near epic proportions.

  5. All the firepower a proper civilian ever needs rests perspiring and doughy within the Sherwin-Williams-coated concrete blocks of local union halls.

    1. Darnit, Mr. Cyborg, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty whore!

      1. *twenty dollar whore

        Shut up Taggart!

        1. That quote does not seem to be adjusted for inflation.

          1. Depends on where. It used to be $5 for a short time in Olongapo in the eighties..

            1. Good, cause five dolla is all my momma allow me to spend!

        2. NO NO NO no…. a twennydollah hoor

  6. I always thought Massachusets would be the first state to decline into an Orwellian socialist hellhole. But Maryland has really upped its game. I think Mass is now in 3rd, behind Maryland and Connecticut.

    1. The problem with Maryland is Montgomery and Prince George counties (prog-infested DC suburbs). They should join DC and form a new state.

      1. I don’t think DC being a state, or part of a state is in anyone’s best interest. Greater representation would be less then helpful.

        Instead, I would suggest Maryland implement a tax on income gained through employment outside of Maryland. It would be a budget windfall

        1. If the Maryland suburbs were to join DC as a new state, MD would likely turn red. You would still have Baltimore, but it would be balanced out by the Eastern Shore and Western MD.

          I would say you could add the Virginia suburbs too to a new DC state, but not until I move out of them!

          1. Baltimore, Howard, Frederick, and Anne Arundel counties are all purple. The first two are more blue while the second two are more red. The state that would be left behind from DC/MoCo/PG splitting off would be much more competitive, but it wouldn’t be a Republican stronghold.

            1. Footnote for non-Marylanders: Baltimore County is a separate entity that surrounds, but does not contain, Baltimore City.

              Baltimore City is, of course, deep blue.

          2. I like this idea. We could call it District Nein.

        2. MikeP2. Maryland did have a tax on income earned outside the state. Comptroller MD… vs Wynne. Wynne won at the US Supreme Court level.

          1. Interesting. Didn’t know that. Other states have similar taxes, I wonder how it differed.

        3. MikeP2. Maryland did have a tax on income earned outside the state. Comptroller MD… vs Wynne. Wynne won at the US Supreme Court level.

      2. I say we move the capital to Puerto Rico, let the bureaucracy and it’s entourage migrate down there, then cut’em loose. Tell Cuba they can have Guantanamo back if they’ll just give these fuckers what they want.

        1. Nah – Barrow, Alaska where they can see the effects of global warming on the local polar bear population up close and personal.

          1. Are t they more worried about the effects of vampire attacks after the sun goes down for the winter? I seem to recall seeing some kind of documentary about that.

      3. It’s really just Montgomery County, where all the money is.

  7. I don’t own any guns but this seems like more retarded feel-good legislation. There is nothing to stop Marylanders from driving to Virginia, WV, or even NC to buy these.

    1. You can’t legally transfer them into the state.

      1. You can’t legally transfer them into the state.

        Making things illegal does not make them go away and making actions illegal does not stop people from committing them.

      2. So you buy them the day before your rampage.

        1. Terms of enrampagement?

    2. Don’t you have to be an in-state resident? It’s been a few years since I bought a firearm, but that is what I remember.

      1. You can purchase long arms outside of your home state but still need to follow the laws of your home state. Handguns must be transferred to a dealer in the home state.

    3. More importantly, this applies to sale and transfer… not manufacture.
      Welcome to the world of 3-d printers and home manufacturing! Anyone can do what they need now with little know how and a few simple tools.

    4. You can’t buy any of these guns out of state, if you’re a Maryland resident. EVERY SINGLE GUN PURCHASE requires ID and Pennsylvanian and Virginian gun shops, as well as all other gun shops in the country, have to follow Maryland gun laws when selling to Maryland residents.

      1. find a state with private sales not through FFL’s being legal, buy it there, making certain its old enough to be prior to this week…. put it in the car and shut up. It is called nullification: WE WILL NOT COMPLY. Works for any truly unconstitutional law. As this ruling certainly is.

        1. Bad idea
          Interstate private sales are a no-no per fed law.

    5. probably can;t even buy them in neighbouring states, as one could a standard bolt action handting rifle. For an interstate long gun sale, the buyer has to be able to legally own it in his state of residence.

      Of course, there could easily develop a smallish trade in provate sale used rifles made prior to this “decisio”….. no way to PROVE the present Maryland owner didn’t own it last week or before. I know it is legal to buy a Browing, Weatherby, WInchester, bolt action or semi automatic rifle out of state, pass the BGC, and bring it home and do nothing. I’ve done it legally a number of times when travelling.

      1. a trade in legal “black and ugly” rifles could also develop.. EVERY TIME the stupid state of California imposed new design restrictions on them being sold in the state, the manufacturers and accessory folks designed “work arounds’ that made the restrictions null….. and still delivered 99% of the functionality of the unmodified rifle. Sort of like Wile E Coyote and RoadRunner. Pretty funny.
        THey say they can’t have detachable magazine AND any two or more of adjustable/folding stock, flash hider, and some other stupid meaningless thing. SO…. thread the end of the barrel for (______), fit a folding/adjustable stock, leave off the other ridiculoursthing I can’t remember, so now it only has ONE of the “nasty features”. Sell the mimi-mag along with it, and a nice market in used standard capacity mags will quickly develop.. or perhaps new ones with no codes or stamps that could possibly date it.

        1. I have semiautomatic shotguns that rival M-16’s. Still legal in PA. Other states YMMV.

  8. How would these judges rule on similar abortion restrictions? I’m not advocating for or against abortion in this post. These judges would probably rule that any restrictions to abortions or regulations from any governmental agency that impacted abortion providers, like a certain level of health standards, would be unconstitutional for a right that is implied in the constitution. Yet, the second amendment, an explicit right, ends with “…shall not be infringed” and has multiple restrictions at all levels of the government. How does one become so obviously hypocritical and still maintain they are steeped in knowledge of the constitution?

    1. Look, if a right is merely implied by penumbras, it’s clearly due a great deal of protection. If a right is explicitly stated in the text of the Constitution, well, that’s not a right due much, if any, protection at all.

      You have to go to Yale Law School to figure this out. Otherwise, you’re just not smart enough.

      1. Damn that is a sizzler. Arigato for the koan.

    2. The fact that the right to privacy has never been extended beyond sex-related stuff is also notable. How can you have a right to get an abortion and a right to buy contraception but not a right to buy Sudafed?

      1. You forget HIPAA, cops rights to keep their personnel files secret, Obama’s college transcript, the government’s right to keep embarrassing information top secret, etc.

        1. Ooh, how could forget financial “privacy” law. I can have income reported in my name to the IRS but the reporting company can refuse to provide me with the tax forms. I feel so protected!

          1. About a decade ago I got a letter from the IRS asking permission to give the DoD my address. This was due to tainted water at Camp LeJuene in the late 70s and 80s and the DoD needed to contact me about a medical registry for Marines that drank the water. I figured the DoD would have that info, and found it odd the IRS was asking permission.

            Odd privacy rules.

        2. I’m more interested in Obama’s college entrance and aid applications than his actual transcripts. You know that little cocksucker committed federal fraud on his forms.

      2. Good point. Why no right to privacy from mass data collections from the government?

        1. I don’t see any abortions involved, so no expectation of privacy!

      3. Roe v. Wade was not based upon ‘sexual’ privacy, it was about medical privacy – “the decision of a woman and her physician.”

        Yet somehow Obamacare isn’t a problem.

        1. Roberts misread “privacy” as “privation” and thought… Yep, medical privation is what the ACA is all about.

        2. But it was about something that arose as a consequence of sex. And as later cases have shown, only when sex is involved (contraception, sodomy) does the right to privacy actually exist according to the courts.

          1. The contraception case, Griswold v. CT was where the privacy right used in Roe v/ Wade came from originally.

            1. Correct. CT at that time limited the sale of contraceptives to married couples.

        3. Hardwick agrees.

    3. “”How would these judges rule on similar abortion restrictions?””

      Well, background checks, and psych evals would be a non-starter,

      1. When parties are trying to deny someone their Constitutional right to keeping and bearing arms, I wonder how it would be if we placed the some restrictions on something like voting?

        Imagine if we said people on a secret watch list will not be allowed to vote. They cannot know they are on the list, how they got there, and have little recourse once on the list.

        Imagine if we had to tromp down to the courthouse, present multiple forms of ID, pay a chunk of $$, get fingerprinted and photographed, wait weeks while police and FBI do a wants & warrants search and background check. Then fill out a long form with invasive personal questions like “been in a mental institution.” Then maybe, if the sheriff feels like you’re a decent person or “on his team”, you can vote.

        “But having a gun and voting are different!” I can hear it now. But both are Constitutionally protected (not granted!) fundamental rights and the onus ought to be huge for Govt to take them away.

        1. Indeed, I’d just like the application process for welfare to mirror the application process for CCW.

          Around here, for CCW, you must show up in person at the courthouse, fill out an application that asks several invasive questions, present several forms of government-approved photo ID, get photographed for picture ID, take the application to the Sheriff’s office, get fingerprinted, then have the application and prints submitted to the FBI for a background check. Of course you have to pay the fees as well.

          If you’ve have committed no crimes and are not deemed mentally unstable, if you’re lucky your CCW will be approved and mailed to you in 60-90 days. You get to repeat the process every 5 years.

          Welfare application could waive the fee, but the fingerprinting, photo ID requirement and issuance, plus a wants background check seem sensible and not intrusive relative to hoops needed to exercise 2nd rights with govt approval.

          But I can hear the screams of protest now…

          1. They think the concept of a right is different for things they don’t like.

            Yeah, all those requirements for a CCW disenfranchies the poor and minorities, and should be abolished under equal rights. 😉

        2. yer a preachin to the choir, there……. the REAL question is, however, HOW to effectively preach to these unlelected lawmakers in their black pyjamas….

    4. How does one become so obviously hypocritical and still maintain they are steeped in knowledge of the constitution?

      They went to law school, so they’re super-duper smart. Did you go to law school, Mr. Smartypants? /sarc

    5. “…shall not be infringed” is open to the interpretation of the local magistrate. Until it isn’t.

  9. Let us not forget that the first national gun control law, the NFA, was upheld on the basis of not banning military weapons, because the 2A protects them (U.S. v. Miller, 1934). Now we are at the point where the courts are saying that only non-military weapons are legal. I believe the technical term for this type of legal reasoning is FYTW.

    1. Correction: the NFA was passed in 1934, Miller was decided in 1939.

    2. Goldilocks gun control. Only military weapons are allowed, but military weapons are also banned.

    3. Of course.

  10. The appeals court says the prohibited guns and magazines are outside the scope of the Second Amendment.

    WRONG. Anything that I can “keep” (own/possess) and “bear” (carry/operate) is within the scope of the second amendment. As such, any and all rifles and their components are included.

    1. I like Arizona’s interpretation. If one man can carry it he can have it.

      1. So no cannons?

        1. Just how big a man are you?

      2. If one man can carry it he can have it.

        So RPGs are legal there? Sweet!

        1. I think there is at least some reasonable thought that bombs and the like are not “arms”. My personal feeling is a grenade (rocket propelled or otherwise) is an explosive device not an armament. But that is a bit wishy washy. For sure fully automatic, short barrel, suppressed, etc weapons are arms and shouldn’t be banned

          1. Okay. “Legs”.

      3. This seems to discriminate against small Asian women.

        1. You clearly don’t know small Asian women.

  11. Ban a Mossberg 500? How fucking common does a gun need to be? Oh, I see, because it’s in a bullpup configuration and has the word ‘assault’ attached to it for advertising purposes. Got it.

    1. and yet the Ruger Mini 14, Mini 30, and Ranch Rifle variants look a WHOLE LOT like Grandpa’s deer rifle, but are every bit as lethal as any AR style rifle, except without the “assault” cachet attached. If I’m not mistaken, those Ruger models can also receive standard capacity magazines for the 5.56 or the 7.62 x 51 military rounds. I’ve never fund the “black and ugly” ones comfortable to the hand, but have held/fired the Ruger Ranch, Minis, etc. and, were the price not so dear, I’d one one… maybe one of each.

  12. It’s funny that the same people that think the 2A applies to militias also think that it does not apply to arms that a militia would use.

  13. The one time you wish the left were correct on something. During the election I remember all kinds of ads and articles claiming Hogan had a secret plan to end the assault riffle ban. I guess his plan was to defend the law and win?

    1. I don’t know the governor really had anything to do with it or could do anything about, except get his name removed as an appellant. The AG is an elected, pro-gun control Democrat, and it was his office that fielded the law’s defense. The governor can veto new laws and can tweak some administrative processes to favor gun owners, which to my knowledge he has done. I don’t think getting his name off a court case really accomplishes anything.

      1. Yeah I know; I was being somewhat disingenuous. Hogan was never going to fight against the ban though and all the dems wanted to paint him as some gun nut who was going to hand out AK47s to their children. And now here he is having been named as the defender of the assault rifle ban.

      2. But the governor is the executive… charged with enforcing the LAWS of the state… but ONLY those consistent with the US and Maryland COnstituions. He can simply refuse to enforce that law..

        1. The pope can simply … whatever.

  14. I am not offended by Maryland banning guns for cosmetic reasons.

    I am also not offended by the 10 round limit. That is not targeted at minority groups.

    I think a state law on this topic is constitutional in a way a federal law would not be.

    2nd amendment was about protecting the states from the Feds. States disarming themselves is outside the scope.

    Likewise it is consistent to uphold the NFA on the grounds that it does not ban military weapons. However this is obviously wrong. If Texas wants to arm its citizens with machine guns, that should be ok.

    1. Maryland is one of the few (only?) of the original 13 states not to have a state equivalent to the 2nd Amendment. A case could be made, if the 14th Amendment weren’t read to incorporate the BoR against the states, that this law is constitutional in Maryland. However, that is not the prevailing interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

      Curiously, Maryland is also one of the few of the current 50 states to maintain a “state defense force” apart from the National Guard, although it isn’t much.

    2. Re: Bubba Jones,

      2nd amendment was about protecting the states from the Fed

      The language in the 2nd Amendment doesn’t justify your interpretation. It begins with a justification, which sounds like “And especially because people need to practice with their guns so that they do not look like fools while trying to defend their turf” (otherwise known as the “well regulated militia” clause), the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. Says nothing about the States having the power to infringe people’s right to bear any weapon that strikes their fancy.

      1. What the 2nd was about is also rather moot since it has been fully incorporated by the 14th. States are no enjoined just like the Feds.

    3. I think a state law on this topic is constitutional in a way a federal law would not be.

      Not since McDonald v. City of Chicago:

      The Court held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.

      Of course it could be argued that the Bill of Rights does not actually confer any individual rights, and that they exist in the Constitution by omission instead.

    4. States disarming themselves is outside the scope.

      “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” Rights are rights and can’t be stripped by state governments anymore than they can be stripped by the federal governments.

      While it’s true that states have more latitude to control state citizens’ lives, states are not granted power to ignore rights recognized to all Americans.

    5. the Second Amendment of the Constitution is NOT ABOUT hunting or sporting.
      it’s about the people retaining the ability to “alter or to abolish” a government gone bad,as written in the Declaration of Independence.
      the Founders had just overthrown their own incumbent government (Britain) by FORCE OF ARMS,and recognized that it might have to be done again in the future,thus the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment protecting the People’s RIGHT to keep and bear arms.
      The American Revolution BEGAN when the Brits moved to confiscate arms at Concord.
      the people (in militia) responded with privately owned arms.

      Constitutional attorney Stewart Rhodes will explain The Second Amendment for you.

      …”The whole point of the Second Amendment is to preserve the military capacity of the American people – to preserve the ability of the people, who are the militia, to provide for their own security as individuals, as neighborhoods, towns, counties, and states, during any emergency, man-made or natural; to preserve the military capacity of the American people to resist tyranny and violations of their rights by oath breakers within government; and to preserve the military capacity of the people to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, including those oath breaking domestic enemies within government. ”

      If you disagree with or don’t like this,you live in the wrong country. you need to move somewhere else.
      This is a basic tenet of America. a core concept.

      1. Stop making sense!

      2. Any lawyer and any judge can choose to “interpret” any words to mean anything they want. But the history of the 2nd and what was written about it at the time is clear in that it was intended to protect the *individual* right to self defense via firearms. The phrase “well regulated” as used at the time meant something that was functioning as it ought to be. The first clause of the statement is an explanatory statement as to why it was in the best interest of the government to especially protect this right. The second clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” is the action clause.

        So any way you look at it, it is and was intended to be recognized as an individual right.

        1. If a militia is “well regulated” or “functioning as it aught to be” it will respond to the needs of the state, or the command of the state. If they are functioning on their own (let’s say off fighting the natives when the state is threatened) I don’t think they would be considered “well regulated”. Therefore a “well regulated militia” would be directly under the control of the state. Most likely the state would want to create their own militia to insure control.

    6. no, not so. The Federal Constitution declares we HAVE the right to arms.. the PEOPLE of the United States, individually, have that right. The command “shall not be infringed” has to limiting clause indicating any classes of “people”.

      “Arms” as used in the BoR means weapons of military usefulness. PEOPLE means all individuals lawfully present within the US. Theright to arms was not given the states, nor military, nor militia. No, read that one again. It clearly accrues to THE PEOPLE. Now SOME people will group together as states, counties, militia, bridge clubs, foodie groups….

      1. “Arms” as used in the BoR means weapons of military usefulness”

        Not, quite. “Arms” are weapons, but not all weapons are arms. So, many useful military weapons would not be covered such as RPG’s.

        Arms at the time of the Founding, and today, are weapons which an individual would carry for personal defense or “when called for service in the militia” for state sanctioned offense.

        So, the arms should be suitable for both purposes. RPG’s don’t qualify.

        But clearly AR-15’s do, and you can make a colorable argument that M16’s would also. A tripod mounted machine gun – no (unfortunately).

  15. The appeals court says the prohibited guns and magazines are outside the scope of the Second Amendment.

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    What exactly about “assault weapons” and “high capcity magazines” falls outside the scope of that? They’re arms, and people have a right to bear arms that “shall not be infringed.”

    DIAF, 4th circuit.

    1. If anything “military style” arms should be the most protected, given the statement at the beginning of the 2nd.

      1. And this is exactly what United States v. Miller said. Heller is in direct contradiction with this.

        It’s amazing that with so relatively few actual 2nd Amendment rulings on the Supreme Court, the justices are unable to read them all and apply them consistently.

        But of course they also cannot read the Constitution itself, which clearly was never meant to grant any rights to anyone.

        1. In fact, the only reason the decision in Miller that the left uses to denigrate the 2nd was written as it was, is due to the fact that by the time it was heard by the Supreme Court, Miller himself was already dead and there was no one there to argue his side. That meant that on a strictly legal basis they could only rule based on what was presented by the government, that even though they knew that sawed off shotguns *were* actually being used by the military, they were not allowed to take “judicial notice” of that fact.

  16. Yes, the 5.56mm round used in “assault weapons” is such an “exceptionally lethal” round that most hunters wouldn’t use it on a deer because it may just wound it or at least cause a very long trek until it finally collapses. Yet the twice as powerful .30-06 that can blow your head clean off is sold with no controversy. The 5.56mm is a poodle shooter.

    1. Believe me, they would ban the .30-06 too if they could get away with it.

      1. But they can’t because every real man/veteran/person with common sense has one.

    2. most states prohibit the 5.56 and .223 for use in the taking of deer…. for precisely the reason you cite. I think its a ridiculous round for most things… don’t own a thng that can fire it. BUT, the oh so slightly larger diameter .243 (a WHOPPING twenty thousandths of an inch bigger diameter) will carry much farther, is more accurate at range, a=delivers far more downrange kinetic energy. These judges need to get out a bit more, learn somewhat of real world skills.

      1. This is the issue. I haven’t read all of the amicus briefs, but the section in the opinion about the difference between the semi-auto firearms and the selective fire ones was one step short of the cosmetic feature bans that were justified by basically saying they made a rifle “shootier.”

        Seriously, read it. They said that an SA rifle would empty a mag in 5 second and the FA analogue would empty a mag in 2, so that’s pretty close, so yeah, they’re the same. You would have thought that at least one of the amicus briefs would have some actual data about Class III/NFA things vs. everything else.

  17. “””2nd amendment was about protecting the states from the Feds””

    I see it as more about protecting your right to own a firearm so you would be eligibile to join a militia, which doesn’t mean you have to join a militia.

    1. It doesn’t protect any right in any meaningful way. It’s an example of a power that is not granted by the Constitution. If there was any kind of strict adherence to the Constitution, a new amendment would need to be ratified which grants the right to regulate gun ownership.

      1. grants the right power

      2. the Second Amendment is a prohibition on GOVERNMENT,not on the people.
        it tells GOVERNMENT “hands off”,you’re NOT allowed to restrict this.
        Some judges need to be hanged. Or face a firing squad. As an example to the rest.
        They have not been adhering to the Constitution.

        1. +1 Guillotine

          1. Or wood chipper

  18. Please, can anyone explain how a “weapon” can be any other thing but “dangerous”??!!!
    And, dear fourth district, the second amendment applies more to military weapons than to self defense. The stated purpose of the amendment is to allow citizens to form militia. Militia have a military purpose.

    1. Re: Longtobefree,

      Please, can anyone explain how a “weapon” can be any other thing but “dangerous”??!!!

      When they’re no longer in the hands of the People but in the hands of their oppressors, (Marxists, Trumpistas, doesn’t matter who) THEN they are no longer ‘dangerous’!

    2. no, the purpose of that Article is to name and guarantee the RIGHT of the PEOPLE to be armed as WE see fit…. for the purpose of assuring “the security of a free state”. That right/ability accrues to ALL lawfully here, without regard to any personal associations, or lack thereof. The PEOPLE have no need of any ammendment to grant uspermission to form a militia.

  19. The majority’s judgment that folding stocks, flare launchers, and flash suppressors make rifles “exceptionally lethal” is dubious.

    “Dubious? How would you know? Have you ever been bludgeoned by a folding stock before? Man, those things are lethal!”

    /Stoopid Marxian.

  20. In Kolbe, the 10-judge majority concludes that the guns and magazines covered by Maryland’s ban are “dangerous and unusual” because they are “exceptionally lethal weapons of war” that are not appropriate for civilian use

    So why is it okay for the police to have them? Police officers are civilians.

    1. “”and unusual”””

      Ha, a very popular rifle, and commonly used 30 round mags are the usual. If that is the judges’ definition of “exceptionally lethal” then I wonder what they would call an A-10?

      Now a nuke, those are exceptionally lethal and unusual.

      1. If the cops carried them, you’d damn well bet I’d get to carry them.

        1. No arguement here.

  21. A job being necessary to prosperity, the right to own a car shall not be infringed.

    Applying the left’s argument on the 2A, you would only have a right to a car if you have a job.

    1. But not a car powered by a large capacity (cubic inches) engine!
      And only an econo box, not a “fast looking” one that might be dangerous.
      And definitely not one with a dangerous folding top!

      1. …or that thing behind your shoulders that goes up!

  22. “exceptionally lethal weapons of war” that are not appropriate for civilian use: “We are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are ‘like’ ‘M-16 rifles’?’weapons that are most useful in military service’

    The police in Maryland don’t carry these?

    1. No fucking shit, either they just assume specially costumed civilians are exempt or they carved that exemption out in the decision; neither would surprise me

  23. Speaking as a liberal-minded person who’s ideal situation is a ban on all firearms, I really really think stirring up crap over “assault weapons” is a bad idea. I have to use this pun: liberals are shooting themselves in the foot by going after assault weapons.

    1) Only people who don’t know anything about guns talk about “assault weapons.” I don’t know shit about guns, but I still know enough to know that calling a particular gun an assault weapon is extremely arbitrary.

    2) Even setting aside definition problems, what are these laws trying to do? I’m a firm believer of explicit and well-targeted laws: what is the law trying to do, and does it have a reasonable chance of succeeding? Bans on assault weapons basically fail both tests. They’re vague, and have no clear upside.

    If gun control advocates are serious, they need to stop pussy-footing around and go after guns like they mean it. Make it harder to carry in public. Make it harder to get guns of any sort – especially handguns (yah know, the ones that are actually used in most crimes). Make a massive and mandatory gun buyback program. Go after the 2nd.

    All of this would be wildly unpopular of course, but at least it would actually do the thing gun control advocates presumably want: reduce gun deaths. Screwing around with made-up definitions? Waste of got-damn time, as well as making the whole movement a joke.

    1. “”If gun control advocates are serious, they need to stop pussy-footing around and go after guns like they mean it. Make it harder to carry in public. Make it harder to get guns of any sort – especially handguns (yah know, the ones that are actually used in most crimes). Make a massive and mandatory gun buyback program. Go after the 2nd.””

      They know they can’t go that far. They are trying to nibble to see what they can get away with. Sort of like republicans and abortions.

      1. Yeah, I guess. And maybe it is the case that literally any gun restrictions, even ineffectual ones, are just a political non-starter. Assuming that’s not the case though – and I think there’s a good amount of evidence to support that – by making the battles over silly assault weapons bans, liberals are only succeeding in calcifying the opposition, and not actually getting anything in return.

        Your comparison to abortion restrictions is an illuminating one in that at least the people who’s ultimate goal is making abortion illegal are doing things that work towards that goal. They’re pissing off pro-choice people, and maybe doing some unpopular things, but they’re also accomplishing what they want. Gun control advocates? Not so much. They’re drawing all the fire that comes from pushing contentious issues WITHOUT actually making strides towards their goal. It’s idiotic.

        1. “”They’re pissing off pro-choice people, and maybe doing some unpopular things, but they’re also accomplishing what they want.””

          I don’t think they are getting what they want, which is abortions outlawed, any more than anti-gun folk are getting closer to guns outlawed. Neither are getting what they want in the end. But it’s odd that almost any restriction on abortion fails in the courts, but guns, not so much.

          1. How so? The bills being passed aren’t outright bans on abortion in the most general sense, but anti-abortion groups are certainly making strides. Abortion clinics are closing, abortion access is going down, etc. To me, that’s effective lobbying and effective legislating. Success and failure can’t be judged simply by “did we accomplish exactly what we set out to do, and no less.”

          2. even if they manage to outlaw all firearms, like they did in England ans Australie, they will not get rid of them. Amusing, but in Oz, GUN USE as accessories to violent crime is sharpoly rising of late. They can’t figure out why, for some reason…..

      2. This. It has been this way for 100+ years. Brady act and the like. It is just one piece at a time. End goal is no guns but they have been chipping away at my right for 100+ years.

    2. the anti-gun lobby’s intent was to incrementally ban guns,one type at a time,until all were banned. They actually SAID that,a long time ago,but then wised up and went into stealth mode. Now they push for “gun safety”,but their idea of that is for nobody to legally own guns,they just don’t say so.
      The first ban was automatic weapons,”machine guns”,short-barreled rifles and shotguns (1934 NFA),then “Saturday Night Specials”,handguns of low cost. They worked to ban imported guns,and old,obsolete military rifles. Now they’re after “assault weapons”,and after that comes “scoped sniper rifles”,which means your ordinary centerfire hunting rifle.
      Also coming is a ban on semi-auto handguns.

      What they DON’T tell people is that “assault weapons”,semi-auto military style rifles,are used in so FEW crimes,the FBI didn’t even keep stats on them separately. Or that swimming pools kill more people than “assault weapons”.

      BTW,”Saturday Night Specials” was originally “Ni.g. g.ertown Saturday Night Specials” before they went PC.

      1. This is correct. It is policy anchoring. You get an “assault weapons” ban and the next argument is for other “dangerous” guns. The talking point is that “We have already banned assault weapons” this is just a small change to make us a bit safer. And you rinse repeat as you climb the ladder of incremental restrictions.

        Each success leads to the next incremental infringement. There should be no compromise of any kind on any point in this debate.

        I also think the assault weapons ban is part of that strategy. Once those are banned the argument for handguns is “We already banned assault weapons which aren’t even the primary problem when it comes to crime. So if we can ban the guns that aren’t a problem we should be able to ban the ones that are”.

  24. There are 320 million guns in the US. There are 32 gun murders a day. What’s the problem?

    1. That number seems high. Last time I checked, there were ~11,500 murders/annually of which ~8,500 were by firearm. That comes out to ~23/day.

    2. That you have made it easier for a woman to be raped, and strangled to death with her own pantyhose so your irrational fears can be assuaged?

      1. Made it easier for anyone to be raped and strangled.

        fucking sexist bullshit

  25. New Yorks 1,000,000 new illegal gun owners..


    One million plus new felons, all armed with scary, high capacity, media labeled assault weapons!

    The deadline for New York residents to register their so called “Assault Weapons” and “High” (read standard) Capacity Magazines came and went.
    An estimated million plus, formerly law abiding, gun owners have refused to comply with Cuomo and down state Democrat’s naive belief that the NY Safe Act, passed in a so called emergency session of the New York legislature, could force free people to register their hard earned property.

    And who can blame these once lawful gun owners, with a president that picks and chooses which laws he will follow or enforce, as well as an Federal Attorney General that operates daily with a Contempt of Congress charge and gun running scandal, “Fast & Furious”, hanging over his head. Why should the average New York joe, bother to follow the law, especially when it is in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States, the one true law of the land.…..un-owners/

    1. Didn’t the same thing happen in Canada when they introduced mandatory registration?

    2. “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

  26. If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!

    In writing to William Jarvis, Jefferson said, “You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

    The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”

    1. The final arbriter is the people and that’s stated in the declaration of independence.

  27. the Second Amendment of the Constitution is NOT ABOUT hunting or sporting.
    semi-auto,magazine-fed rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47 are today’s modern MILITIA weapons,and thus should be the most protected of firearms under the Second Amendment.

    Militiamen were expected to appear for muster bearing arms and ammo similar to and compatible with what the Regular military had in use AT THAT TIME.
    Since we “compromised” and restricted ownership of full-auto,true assault rifles,that leaves the semi-auto versions for civilian militia use.

    In US v Miller,SCOTUS asked if a short-barreled shotgun was a weapon that a militia would commonly use,implying that arms protected by the 2nd Amendment were arms a militia would use. AR-15’s,M-16’s and AK-47s would be ordinary militia arms,and “hi-capacity magazines” also would be protected.

    it’s VERY clear the Founders INTENDED that civilians have “weapons of war”,militia arms suitable for militia purposes,that includes combat.

    1. And in Miller, since Miller was already dead at the time and there was no one there to argue his side and the government said “No they weren’t,” the court had no choice but to rule on that basis, regardless of the fact that they knew personally that it wasn’t true. Sawed off (short barrel) shotguns *were* in regular military use.

    2. Weapons of war are what citizens have a right to…any weapon of war. Rockets, explosives, bombs, tanks, vehicles, planes, ships, ANY!

  28. Thomas Jefferson: “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” (Thomas Jefferson to James Madison)
    “The people? are the rightful masters? not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it,”
    Abe Lincoln
    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves?and include, according to the past and general usage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms? “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
    – Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.” – Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251

    1. I understand these are probably not common opinions but the last paragraph goes way too far for me. How young is “young”? would anyone give a gun as a gift for to a three year old? When quoting “in the smallest degree” is this talking about a prison full of guns? Under these terms is an artillery piece considered a “gun”?

  29. The second amendment says “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Of course a militia requires “weapons that are most useful in military service?M-16 rifles and the like.” (Quote from the third paragraph regarding District of Columbia vs Heller). And if second amendments supporters argued for military type weapons this way in the Supreme Court of the U.S. I absolutely irrevocably state they would win, hands down. Yup yup yup. BUT, no one will because it would require stating the second amendment is talking about state sponsored militias set up to protect the states from a federal government running amok. (which of course happened anyway). Let me say I’m NOT anti – second amendment. I have owned a number of guns and still own one. I even think of myself as a good shot. Before calling me names (which would hurt my feelings) read some of the documents and letters that lead to the creation of the second amendment.

  30. Traitorous dummies!!! Don;t they realise those guns are NOT “exceptionally lethal”? Most states prohibit hunting deer with them….. even if a five round magazine is used. (most states limit ANY deer gun to five rounds total) WHY? Because the rifle is NOT powerful enough to assure a clean kill, thus leading to the wasting of game animals that flee after being hit. The venerable and ancient .30-30 WInchester is considered a veyr weak round by many, yet that one IS legal for the taking of deer in every state allowing rifles.

    SOMEBODY needs to sit these sorry excuses for jusged down and educate them. Or disbar them for their bias.

    1. Outdoors these guns are indeed NOT “exceptionally lethal”. Something with a larger case and around 7mm is much better if your target something like large deer, elk, antelope, etc… However if you are hunting smaller, slower moving game in, say, a shopping mall, these guns are excellent. I think this is why the court declared these guns as “exceptionally lethal”.

  31. Well now that the supreme court has all but been sorted out (one thing we can always be glad Trump won about!) I say this puppy ought to go up to them, once the new man is seated of course. I would love to see them clarify that these types of nonsense gun laws are unconstitutional. That would FREAK OUT all the lefties real good if they were federally forbidden from passing insane gun laws based off of ridiculous things like magazine sizes and having folding stocks. I’d love it.

    1. The new guy is not a fan of overturning precedent, as he holds the legal view that precedent becomes part and parcel to the Constitution itself and should not be overturned. It’s not as if he is going to win nomination any time soon, anyway. Trump is about as ineffectual as they come, and he will be way to busy blowing hot air to actually be Presidential and get the SCOTUS back where it should be with 9 justices.

      1. But there are now split precedents. Which one will he choose to follow?

  32. If only I wanted an abortion with a flash suppressor and folding stock. Then it would be a constitutional right.

  33. It was funny to see gun rights advocates celebrate the Heller decision, which completely gutted the Second Amendment and gave carte blanch to government to restrict firearm ownership and commerce. To this day I do not see what they were so happy about. Heller basically said that the second amendment only applies to armed self-defense, which is not at all what the founders intended. Heller (and McDonald) went on to say explicitly that guns “not in common use for a lawful purpose” were not protected. Simultaneously ruling that self-defense was the only lawful purpose for handguns, Heller/McDonald basically stripped the 2nd Amendment of all of its power.

    1. Though I think your view of HELLER is bit off I do agree that it was not quite the resounding success that we would all like it to be.

      Unfortunately, it appears now in hindsight (and with the knowledge that the SC even before Scalia’s death couldn’t muster the 4 votes needed to take cert on several lower court cases that essentially over-turned HELLER) that the best Scalia could do was get a narrow decision that the 2nd protects handguns (and functioning long arms) in the home for “lawful purposes”.

      Of course the law challenged only those restrictions.

      So the “conservative” court addressed the law and made its decision based on law (as far as that goes).

      A “liberal” court would have taken a similar “liberal” issue and used a HELLER-like opportunity to expand the original “right” beyond all recognition of reality.

  34. This is, of course, inane.

    Whatever the NINTH Amendment right to keep firearms for personal self-defense (see your state constitution), the very purpose of the Second Amendment was to create a citizen militia similar to what exists today in Switzerland — which means the public, under appropriate controls, very much has a right to keep and bear arms of a military nature.

    The Fourth Circuit in effect has declared that an Amendment meant to distribute the military power of the country to those who are sovereigns of the country means exactly the opposite of what it says.

    Rulings like this serve only to bring disrespect upon the courts. They are not upholding the Constitution but, instead, declaring those parts of it they won’t enforce.

  35. I don’t understand this at all. Why can’t you walk into the Supreme Court, say “shall not be infringed.” And mike drop and walk out. Strict scrutiny, silly scrutiny, any kind of scrutiny at all. Not infringed means no infringement at all.

    It is only one sentence for crying out loud. A second grader can understand it.

  36. Justice Hugo Black, who participated in the MILLER decision had this to say about MILLER (it was in remarks to a law school and is available on-line somewhere though right now that escapes me) –

    he said that – MILLER stands for the proposition that ONLY weapons “useful” to the militia are protected, but that protection is ABSOLUTE.

    unfortunately, the HELLER court pretty much abandoned MILLER.

  37. If anyone needs a good laugh, look up what has been proposed in the state of Alabama.

  38. If anyone needs a good laugh, look up what has been proposed in the state of Alabama.

  39. The Supreme Court has ruled that there ARE logical limits to be placed on the rights granted under the Second Amendment. No one would argue, for example, that it’s reasonable to protect citizens by denying citizens the right to have and use grenade launchers or other highly dangerous arms.

    The question follows about what are logical limits, and we don’t all have to agree on them. Let’s keep having the discussion, however, as reason can prevail. I would like to think we can do this without demonizing people who want to restrict arms that the public can buy and keep, whether based on their power to kill people, the capacity of their magazines, or whether they are semi-automatic or automatic.

  40. In Kolbe, the 10-judge majority concludes that the guns and magazines covered by Maryland’s ban are “dangerous and unusual” because they are “exceptionally lethal weapons of war” that are not appropriate for civilian use: “We are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are ‘like’ ‘M-16 rifles’?’weapons that are most useful in military service’?which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach.” The four dissenters, ????? ???? ????? ????? by contrast, note that “assault weapons” and “large-capacity magazines” are indisputably “in common use for lawful purposes,” since they are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans: “As long as the weapon chosen is one commonly possessed by the American people for lawful purposes?and the rifles at issue here most certainly are?the state has very little say about whether its citizens should keep it in their homes for protection.”

  41. I looked at the check for $8628 , I didnt believe that…my… father in law was like actualie taking home money in there spare time on there computar. . there sisters roommate haz done this for under 17 months and just cleard the morgage on there apartment and got a gorgeous Chevrolet Corvette . go to websit=========

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.