A federal judge upheld Maryland’s ban of AK and AR-styled weapons, erroneously referring to as “assault rifles,” and ruled their ban as constitutional under her claim that they “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms.”
She opinion, published Tuesday, also approved Maryland’s ban on other types of magazine-fed rifles as well as magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds, according to Guns Save Lives.
The lawsuit, titled Kolbe, et al vs. O’Malley, et al, was filed in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore by numerous plaintiffs, notably the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Their lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of Maryland’s recently-enacted draconian gun laws. Those same laws prompted famed firearms manufacturer Beretta USA to take its base of operations–and the jobs that come with it–to Tennessee.
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, who was appointed to the bench by former President Bill Clinton, remarked in her 47-page opinion:
Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.
Most significantly, there’s no language contained in the Second Amendment placing “dangerous and unusual” weapons outside its protections. Indeed, all weapons are dangerous, so logic dictates that cannot be a cause for exception.
As for the “unusual” part, apparently Judge Blake doesn’t gat out of Maryland much these days. If she were to go to any gun show or licensed firearm dealer in the vast majority of states, she would see their walls lined with AR-15s and AK-47s.
She wasn’t persuaded by the plaintiffs’ evidence that their were millions of such weapons in the hands of U.S. civilians, choosing instead to rely on percentages.
“Even accepting that there are 8.2 million assault weapons in the civilian gun stock, as the plaintiffs claim, assault weapons represent no more than 3% of the current civilian gun stock, and ownership of those weapons is highly concentrated in less than 1% of the U.S. population,” Blake said in her opinion, which continued:
The court is also not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ claims that assault weapons are used infrequently in mass shootings and murders of law enforcement officers. The available statistics indicate that assault weapons are used disproportionately to their ownership in the general public and, furthermore, cause more injuries and more fatalities when they are used.
That assertion completely ignores the facts. “According to the FBI annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle,” Breitbart News recently reported. And note that those statistics include all rifles–not just those that Maryland chose to ban.
Blake’s opinion continues:
As for their claims that assault weapons are well-suited for self-defense, the plaintiffs proffer no evidence beyond their desire to possess assault weapons for self-defense in the home that they are in fact commonly used, or possessed, for that purpose.
If she’s looking for actual proof, let’s head to the riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb that’s still in the news. Looters specifically avoided a pair of stores in the heart of the Ferguson riots.
St. Louis Ink Tattoo Studio and County Guns got through it all unscathed because their owners decided to take security into their own hands, according to the Riverfront Times, which interviewed the gun shop’s owner, Adam Weinstein:
“We didn’t want them coming in here and then running around with a bunch of free guns,” Weinstein told Daily RFT when we arrive at the store around 12:30 a.m. this morning. Weinstein was outfitted with an assault rifle, pistol and tactical vest. Gutierrez cradled his own rifle in his hands.
Here’s a photo provided by that publication. Had I been a looter, I’d avoid them also.
The judge also claimed in her opinion:
Finally, despite the plaintiffs’ claims that they would like to use assault weapons for defensive purposes, assault weapons are military-style weapons designed for offensive use, and are equally, or possibly even more effective, in functioning and killing capacity as their fully automatic versions.
Here again she chose to ignore the real world.
Statistics of offensive versus defensive use of firearms are startling, as Liberty Unyielding reported late last week. Guns are used defensively to thwart crime about 8 times more frequently than they’re used to commit them.
“If you look at information from the Justice Department, they have something called the National Crime Victimization survey,” John R. Lott Jr., economist and Yale professor told Townhall. “What you find is that guns are used in crime about 250,000 times a year. If you look at similar surveys of people who use guns defensively, it’s about two million times a year.” Hew added that “Most people don’t realize that.”
But then again, why should the judge have taken the time to research real facts and data when it’s so much easier for her to make up her own.