Once again our old world kept on a turning and the stars, sun and moon stayed in their places so here we go again. Each month in these pages, I try very hard to find and pass on information about your rights, legislation, and the whacky things that go on around us. Some months I find a lot to pass on and some months not so much. But there is always something going on that is worthy of note. So let get going.
Let’s start with this. In the last issue it was reported that in February 2017, Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent. In the 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said the guns banned under Maryland’s law weren’t protected by the Second Amendment. “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.
Judge William Traxler issued a dissent. By concluding the Second Amendment doesn’t even apply, Traxler wrote, the majority “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.” He also wrote that the court did not apply a strict enough review on the constitutionality of the law.
“For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland’s law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand,” Traxler wrote.
In doing a little more research on this case an interesting fact was uncovered. Back in February 2016 the same issue came before a three judge panel of the same court. In a 2-1 decision, the justices held that the Maryland law does violate the Second Amendment. As to the ban on high capacity magazines, the justices also voided that portion of the law stating that such magazines are so common as to be the norm.
So let’s take a look at Maryland’s gun ban law. Here is a list of guns that are currently banned in Maryland. It is an extensive list containing some 85 guns to date. Remember though that it is not set in stone. At any time more may be added without consent of the people.
MARYLAND BANNED GUNS LIST
A: AA Arms AP 9 semiautomatic pistol; American Arms Spectre da Semiautomatic carbine; AK 47 in all forms; Algimec AGMâ 1 type semi-auto; AR 100 type semi-auto; AR 180 type semi-auto; Argentine L.S.R. semi-auto; Australian Automatic Arms SAR type semi-auto; Auto Ordnance Thompson M1 and 1927 semi-automatics;
B-C: Barrett light .50 cal. Semi-auto; Beretta AR70 type semi-auto; Bushmaster semiautomatic pistol; Bushmaster semi-auto rifle; Calico models M 100 and M 900; CIS SR 88 type semi-auto; Claridge HI TEC C9 carbines; Claridge HI TEC semiautomatic pistol; Colt AR 15, CAR15, and all imitations except Colt AR 15 Sporter H BAR rifle;
D-F: D Max Industries semiautomatic pistol; Daewoo MAX 1 and MAX 2, aka AR 100, 110C, K 1, and K 2; Dragunov Chinese made semi-auto; Encom MK IV, MP 9, or MP 45 semiautomatic pistol; Famas semi-auto (.223 caliber); Feather AT 9 semi-auto; FN LAR and FN FAL assault rifle; FNC semi-auto type carbine; F.I.E./Franchi LAW 12 and SPAS 12 assault shotgun; Steyr AUG SA semi-auto;
G-I: Galil models AR and ARM semi-auto; Heckler and Koch HK 91 A3, HK 93 A2, HK 94 A2 and A3; Heckler and Koch semiautomatic SP 89 pistol; Holmes model 88 shotgun; Holmes MP 83 semiautomatic pistol; Ingram MAC 10/11 semiautomatic pistol and variations including Partisan Avenger and the SWD Cobray; Intratec TEC 9/DC 9 semiautomatic pistol in any centerfire variation;
K-R: Avtomat Kalashnikov semiautomatic rifle in any format; Manchester Arms Commando MK 45, MK 9; Mandell TAC 1 semi-auto carbine; Mossberg model 500 Bullpup assault shotgun; Sterling Mark 6; P.A.W.S. carbine; P.A.W.S. type semiautomatic pistol; Ruger mini 14 folding stock model (.223 caliber);
S: SIG 550/551 assault rifle (.223 caliber); SKS with detachable magazine; Skorpion semiautomatic pistol; Spectre double action semiautomatic pistol (Sile, F.I.E., Mitchell); AP 74 Commando type semi-auto; Springfield Armory BM 59, SAR 48, G3, SAR 3, M 21 sniper rifle, M1A, excluding the M1 Garand; Street sweeper assault type shotgun; Striker 12 assault shotgun in all formats;
U-W: Unique F11 semi-auto type; Daewoo USAS 12 semi-auto shotgun; UZI 9mm carbine or rifle; UZI semiautomatic pistol; Valmet M 76 and M 78 semi-auto; Weaver Arms Nighthawk semi-auto carbine; Weaver Arms semiautomatic Nighthawk pistol; Wilkinson Arms 9mm semi-auto Terry; and Wilkinson semiautomatic Linda pistol.
See any on the list that you own???? The “list” can be enacted here in Oregon if we are caught sleeping. Stay vigilant my friends.
Now let’s look at the Maryland magazine ban. It is illegal to purchase, sell, or manufacture any magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds within the state. However, possession of a magazine with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds is legal if that magazine was purchased out of state. Now that is really confusing. One can’t possess a large capacity magazine made in the state, but one can drive to a neighboring state and buy a large capacity magazine and bring it home and posses it. What sense does that make. The answer is none.
A little more research on magazine bans uncovered the following. Eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning large capacity ammunition magazines – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. All, except Colorado, also ban assault weapons.
A note here: The Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston challenging the so called ban on “assault weapons”. GOAL is one of the most active gun rights organizations in New England. Attorney Jay Porter, representing GOAL and other co-plaintiffs, asserted that “The level of hostility to the gun owning public in the state of Massachusetts has grown to be intolerable. At this point, it has grown to the level where litigation has become necessary. At some point, if you have a fundamental right, you have to protect it. He also commented that the state lacks the authority under the Second Amendment to ban commonly owned firearms (such as the AR-15 and similar firearms). Massachusetts enacted its ban in 1998, but did not allow it to expire. It was renewed in 2004.
A short one here. Just over a year ago the state of Washington enacted a tax of $25 on every firearm sold and five cents a round on all ammunition sold. The proceeds were supposed to go to a fund for education and prevention of gun violence. Several individuals with the media have asked for an accounting of those funds – how much has been brought in, where is it being spent, etc. So far, the powers that be have refused all requests. Will let you know if anything changes.
Let end this issue with these.
“Good friends don’t judge you or ask a lot of questions. They help you move the body and never speak of it again”.
1) Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
2) Forgive your enemies, it messes with their heads.
3) Don’t corner something meaner than you.
4) Don’t skinny dip with snapping turtles.
All sound advice.
Well, that is all for now. More maybe next month if the world keeps turning and the sun doesn’t get too close to the earth. Until then, shoot straight, keep em in the ten ring, be safe on the range, be vigilant and protective of your freedoms, and God bless the USA.