Back in 2013, Maryland passed a law banning detachable magazine-fed semiautomatic rifles. Gun advocates quickly sued, as you would expect, but a district court rejected the argument. However, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s judgment, and Maryland residents were once again allowed to own AR-15s, AK-47s, and other similar semiautomatic rifles.
The Fourth Circuit recently voted to rehear the case, though, and last Tuesday, that court again reversed the decision. The court’s opinion was that these rifles are, quote, “exceptionally lethal weapons of war,” and because of that, should not be protected under the Second Amendment.
Pardon my saying so, but what a crock. In the decision, the court compared AR-15s to the military M-16, despite the undeniable fact that there is a vast difference in the two rifles’ functionality. The only similarities are cosmetic.
The AR-15 fires only one round for every pull of the trigger. Yes, you can fire a lot of rounds quickly if you pull the trigger fast enough, but that does not make it a “machine gun.” And yes, you can get a magazine that allows you to have 20, 30, or even more rounds ready to fire. But those are exactly the characteristics that make the AR-15 a great choice to defend yourself and your family, too. The idea that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals should ignore rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, such as D.C. vs. Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago, and to uphold a ban on a firearm chosen by millions more law-abiding citizens than criminals based on what it looks like, is outrageous.
You can bet this fight’s not over. I’ll keep you posted as things change.