This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 23, 2017:
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Cato Institute, along with the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Independence Institute, filed a “friend of the court” brief on Monday urging the Supreme Court to take under review a lower court’s decision upholding Maryland’s nearly total ban on so-called assault weapons.
Prior to passage of the Firearms Safety Act (FSA) in 2013, Maryland’s gun controls were bad enough: The law permitted those citizens “in good standing” to possess semi-automatic rifles, but only after passing an extensive (and costly) background check along with meeting various other requirements. Starting October 1, 2013, those controls became positively onerous: Any firearm designated as an “assault weapon” was banned from private possession altogether. The law included “assault long rifles,” “assault pistols,” and “copycat weapons.” That automatically included the semi-automatic (one squeeze of the trigger fires a single round) rifles that are most popular among Americans, including Marylanders, including the AR-15 and AK-47 models and knockoffs.
The new law allowed exceptions for “active law enforcement officers.”
Stephen Kolbe, a life-long resident of Maryland living in Towson, owned a “full-size semi-automatic handgun” but wanted, for self-protection purposes, to purchase one of those now-banned semi-automatic rifles. Under the new law he couldn’t, and so he, with the help of the SAF, filed suit claiming Maryland’s new law violated his Second Amendment-protected rights. He also claimed that by giving LEOs an exception, the law also violated his rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
His suit was rebuffed, and he kept appealing until