In what appears to be a great case for gun owners, sending shockwaves out possibly as far as California, the Fourth Circuit (decision pdf here) has remanded a case involving Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines,” requiring the district court to reassess its decision using the highest “strict scrutiny” standard for review of Second Amendment violations rather than the more lenient “intermediate scrutiny” often applied to lesser rights.
The court noted how extremely common such magazines and rifles (AR and AK) are now throughout most of America.
On the other hand, the court rejected Equal Protection claims regarding the preference given to retired law enforcement.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today overturned a federal district court decision that had upheld the 2013 State of Maryland Firearm Safety Act as constitutional under intermediate scrutiny review.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.”
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David R. Duringer, JD, LL.M, is a concealed firearm instructor and tax lawyer specializing in business and estate planning. He is managing shareholder at Protective Law Corporation, serving Southern California from its Laguna Hills (Orange County) headquarters and a satellite office in Coronado (San Diego County).
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