One of the amusing things about the United States, at least to me, is how different various states can be. While we may all watch the same movies or television shows, Texas has a very different culture than California and Massachusetts has a very different one than Georgia. One example of that is the myriad of anti-gun laws that can exist in one state and are openly mocked in another.
Now, it appears that things have passed the stage of residents mocking other states and now 21 states have joined together to call for a review of Maryland’s assault weapon ban.
A coalition of 21 state attorneys general filed a brief on Friday urging the Supreme Court to hear a case against Maryland’s assault weapons ban.
The attorneys general for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming jointly filed a friend of the court brief supporting the plaintiffs in Kolbe v. Hogan. The group believes Maryland’s ban on certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition is unconstitutional, and are asking the Supreme Court to step in and strike the law down.
“Banning certain types of firearms steps on the Second Amendment,” said West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey in a statement about the group’s brief. “Law abiding gun owners routinely use these firearms for self-defense or sporting. Such an unconstitutional act cannot stand.”
Attorney General Morrissey said the outcome of the Maryland case will have repercussions for the entire country.
“This coalition’s effort is really important because we have to protect Second Amendment rights,” he said. “I hope that the Supreme Court hears this case so there are not undue restrictions on peoples’ right to enjoy the Second Amendment. This matters not only for West Virginia, it matters for the entire country.”
The attorneys general brief joins one from the Second Amendment Foundation in urging the Supreme Court to take a look at the Maryland case.
This is especially important because Heller struck down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, basically arguing that because handguns are common firearms, they don’t count as “dangerous and unusual weapons” exemption the Court has granted to the Second Amendment. In other words, you can ban bazookas, but not pistols.
However, so-called assault weapons weren’t specified. That means lawmakers can argue that the AR-15 is a “dangerous and unusual weapon.” Of course, those lawmakers are idiots.
The AR-15 is one of the most popular firearm types in this country today, making them quite common. Further, they are no more dangerous than any other weapon. The 5.56 round isn’t a particularly powerful round, and while it does have a higher capacity magazine than most, there’s no evidence that they’re used in any way to warrant them being classified as dangerous.
The Court has a duty to protect the Constitution from assault by government in any form, be it federal, state, or local, yet they have failed to hear a case on the Second Amendment since McDonald, as Justice Clarence Thomas noted when the Court refused to hear the Maryland case. He’s absolutely right.
Maybe the brief by so many attorneys general will open the Court’s eyes to how important an issue this is.