According to a 47-page opinion by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, “guns that were regulated by the state of Maryland last year, including AR-15 and AK-style rifles (as well as other magazine fed, semi-auto rifles with certain features), “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms.”
If this ruling stands, it will result in legal creep. The next round of anti-Second Amendment advocates will argue that since an AR-15 does not come under the protection of the Second Amendment, all single shot weapons that hold more than a single bullet must be banned as well since an AR-15 is no more an assault rifle than a single shot rifle, because that’s what an AR-15 is.
If the ruling does stand, what will owners of AR-15s do? Nothing. They will keep their weapons because the right to “keep and bear arms” is a fundamental right, not a right given to us by government.
Charlton Heston made the point at the 2000 NRA Convention and immortalized the words “From My Cold, Dead Hands!”
Here are some of Judge Blake’s comments as reported by Dan Cannon at Guns Saves Lives.
“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.
“First, the court is not persuaded that assault weapons are commonly possessed based on the absolute number of those weapons owned by the public. 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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
As you can see, the judge’s operating assertion leads her down the wrong legal path: “[T]he 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. . .”
The Second Amendment does not limit the possession of “arms” to the sole purpose of defending “the home.” The mention of a “well regulated Militia” says otherwise. The fundamental right to keep and bear arms includes everything from personal self-defense to the defense of the nation. The judge needs to take a look at Switzerland.
She may also want to take a look at what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri, where business owners who are armed have kept their shops from being burned and/or looted. “At two businesses the owners (and some employees and friends) were standing firm, right outside, ready to take on all comers. Why? Because they were armed to the teeth.”
It’s not surprising that gun sales are up across St. Louis. The police can’t be everywhere.
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