SCOTUS Declines To Hear Case On Maryland’s Rifle Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court building. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:24 AM – Monday, May 20, 2024

On Monday, the Supreme Court decided not to take up a challenge to a Maryland law that outlaws specific semi-automatic guns.

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As is customary, the court did not go into detail about the rejection. Considering that a lower court is still considering the matter, it would have been uncommon for the justices to take it up at this time.

Additionally, a comparable Illinois law that is likewise the subject of an appeal before the Supreme Court could also address the matter further, but it did not take any action on Monday in that particular case.

Gun rights organizations and other plaintiffs from Maryland contended that semi-automatic weapons, such as the AR-15, are among the most widely used firearms in the nation and that prohibiting them would violate the Second Amendment. This argument was strengthened in light of a significant Supreme Court ruling that expanded gun rights in 2022. This decision overturned state and federal gun regulations and altered the standard for determining whether they are constitutional.

However, the attorney general of Maryland cited instances in which these kinds of firearms were used in mass shootings. The state claimed that since they are “highly dangerous, military-style” weapons, they should be prohibited.

Prior to the establishment of the court’s current conservative majority, in 2017, the justices turned down a second challenge to the legislation. However, after delivering the 2022 decision, the high court’s current justice lineup directed subordinate courts to reexamine the legislation five years later.

While the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals continues to consider the case, Maryland contended that the lower court ought to have the authority to render a ruling prior to any future action by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs claimed that the appeals court had taken too long, citing an atypical action in which the case was transferred from a three-judge panel to the entire circuit court.

The gun control group Brady, which keeps track of firearm legislation, reported that ten states and the District of Columbia currently have laws in place that are commonly referred to as “assault weapons prohibitions,” adding a negative connotation.

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