Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh loves gun control. Because of that, he’s terrified of a three-judge panel’s ruling in Kolbe v. Maryland.
The panel said that since Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act (an “assault weapon” ban combined with magazine restrictions) impacts a core constitutional right, and therefore much be judged by strict scrutiny, instead of intermediate scrutiny.
Frosh and other gun control supporters are well aware that few, if any gun control laws hold up under strict scrutiny.
Predictably, he’s appealing for the case to be-heard by the entire court.
Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Friday the state has asked the entire 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, to hear the case.
Frosh is asking for the rehearing so that the full court weighs in on how Maryland’s ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines should be analyzed for constitutionality.
A federal judge in Baltimore ruled the assault weapons ban should be reviewed using a constitutional test that allows for laws that protect important public interests such as health and safety. But a divided three-judge panel determined in a 2-1 decision that the ban should face the strictest level of constitutional review.
The Fourth Circuit isn’t known for being a court prone towards hearing a large number of en banc reviews, so there’s a very good chance that the Frosh’s appeal will be rejected.
As more liberal courts have upheld similar bans in Connecticut, New York, and California using intermediate scrutiny, it sets the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to have to determine whether intermediate or strict scrutiny must be applied when hearing Second Amendment cases.
If the U.S. Supreme Court rules (as they should) that any case involving a core right must be held to the standard of strict scrutiny, then gun laws around the nation are going to to be challenged in a swarm of cases that will see most gun control laws ruled unconstitutional.