A depiction of Lady Justice outside the Supreme Court
A depiction of Lady Justice outside the Supreme Court / Stephen Gutowski

Twenty Five States Urge SCOTUS to Hear ‘Assault Weapons’ Case

Advocates are already applying pressure for the Supreme Court to take up another gun case.

A coalition of Attorneys General representing 25 states filed an amicus brief with the high court on Wednesday. The brief urges the court to strike down Maryland’s current law prohibiting so-called assault weapons once it finishes its current case against New York’s gun-carry law.

“If left untouched, Maryland’s unconstitutional ban on firearms commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, and others like it, threatens the constitutional rights of all Americans,” the brief reads. “If a sufficient number of states are allowed to impose such bans, it could pave the way for future courts to find that such weapons now owned by millions are no longer in common lawful use. Such an attempt to artificially change the firearms landscape justifies this Court’s review.”

The 25 states are urging the Supreme Court to grant review of Bianchi v. Frosh, which challenges Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013. The act outlawed all semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting detachable magazines and possessing certain cosmetic features. The Maryland law was upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in September.

The brief was led by Attorneys General Mark Brnovich of Arizona and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia.

“Americans do not require approval from a local jurisdiction to exercise their constitutional rights,” Brnovich said in a statement. “We must vigorously oppose this type of misguided overreach at all levels of government.”

The case against Maryland’s law is being supported by multiple gun-rights groups, including the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Firearms Policy Coalition. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb praised the filing of the brief and said it sends a signal of how important the case is.

“We are truly gratified that the top law enforcement officers in fully half of the states in our country have signed onto this amicus brief,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said. “The fact that all of these top legal officers support our challenge to Maryland’s egregious law should carry considerable weight, and underscore the validity of our case.”

He encouraged the court to grant the case and said it was time to make clear which types of guns are constitutionally protected.

“We are hopeful the Supreme Court accepts our case because it is long past time for the court to more fully define the parameters of our right to keep and bear arms, which includes all commonly owned firearms,” Gottlieb said. “We are convinced the guns Maryland wants banned are fully protected by the Second Amendment, and the court has an opportunity to make it official.”

Other states that signed on to the brief include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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