In response to the devastating Sandy Hook tragedy, lawmakers in Maryland, in 2013, outlawed assault rifles and magazines that hold over ten rounds. However, before the law even went into effect, various gun groups filed lawsuits that argued that the ban was a violation of their constitutional rights. The gun lobby maintained that the 2008 landmark Supreme Court ruling—which stated that the second amendment grants individuals the right to bear arms—disallowed Maryland from forbidding an entire class of weapons or from limiting magazines. Nonetheless, on Tuesday, Judge Catherine C. Blake upheld Maryland’s assault rifle ban and showed her disagreement with the gun lobby’s argument when she ruled the law “as constitutional.”
In her decision, Judge Blake wrote that assault rifles, like the AR-15, are not weapons commonly used for self-defense but rather “military style weapons designed for offensive use.” Furthermore, she ruled that the ban was an essential and completely valid means for ensuring public safety. Her ruling to uphold the ban is similar to other judges’ decisions in Washington, California, Connecticut and New York.
Top state official Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, whose office handled the case, strongly agrees with Judge Blake’s decisions. He stated “the banning of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines is a vital tool in the effort to help protect Marylanders from the most destructive weapons available for use by criminals.” The decision is certainly a victory for those who believe the ban will prevent future mass-shootings.