A Federal Appeals Court upheld Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of firearms, including the popular AR-15, saying that they were “weapons of war” and should be banned. They stated the weapons were not protected by the 2nd Amendment. The ruling was 10 for the ban, 4 against it.
“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war.” Judge Robert King in the majority opinion (Clinton appointee)
The US 4th District Court of Appeals is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Surprisingly, another Clinton appointee, Judge William Traxler Jr, issued the dissenting opinion, stating that the majority “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.”
Naturally, the Anti-gun lobby is rejoicing for this decision. This ruling only applies to Maryland’s “assault weapons ban” and therefore will not apply to the entire country. But it does give the liberals a leg up on their fight.
The issue came down to interpretation of the District of Columbia vs Heller SCOTUS ruling from 2008. The judges who ruled for this ban see AR platform firearms as “dangerous and unusual,” which was one of the provisions of the ruling.
But dissenting opinion says that weapons in common use at the time are part of the right to keep and bear arms. There are an estimated 5 to 10 million AR-15 rifles in the United States.
“The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56.” District of Columbia vs Heller
The NRA is reviewing its options regarding the 4th District Court’s ruling. The left’s argument that all AR platform firearms are “weapons of war” doesn’t hold water.
Here are some facts not commonly known by liberals regarding AR weapons:
- AR-15 and other MSR style rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges like the 30-06 Springfield and .300 Win. Mag.
- AR-15 and other MSR style rifles are NOT “assault weapons” or “assault rifles.” An assault rifle is fully automatic and more commonly referred to as a machine gun. Machine guns have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934, obtaining a permit to own one is an arduous, time intensive and expensive process.
- There are many civilian variants of MSR’s that resemble the famous AK-47. Just as the AR-15 is semi-auto only, these AK type MSR’s are also semi-automatic, they are not fully automatic machine guns and are no more powerful than any other common rifle.
- The AR in “AR-15” rifle stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
- MSR style rifles look like military rifles, such as the M-16 and AK-47 but function like any other semi-automatic civilian sporting firearms, firing only one round with each pull of the trigger.
These fools want to delete a right from the Constitution because of their personal perception, not because of the facts. But never mind. As a friend put it, “We’re surrounded by idiots in robes.”
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