Kolbe v. O’Malley
November 11, 2014
Gun Owners Foundation (and GOA) submitted a brief, challenging Maryland’s so-called “assault weapons” ban, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
In 2013, Maryland banned the possession or transfer of what it calls “assault weapons” and the transfer of so-called “large capacity magazines.”
GOF’s amicus brief responds to several factually inaccurate statements made about firearms by the district court in its opinion. For example, the district judge mistakenly claims that so-called “assault weapons” are not in common use and are designed solely for offensive purposes.
Moreover, the judge claims that assault weapons fire at a greater distance and with greater accuracy than other firearms -- as if a .223 bullet fired from an AR-15 will somehow travel further and more accurately than a 7mm bullet fired from a bolt action hunting rifle.
The judge claims that the rounds fired from assault weapons have more capability than other rifle rounds to penetrate soft body armor. In reality, caliber has nothing to do with the type of rifle, and moreover almost all (if not all) rifle bullets penetrate soft body armor, so there is nothing unusual about the bullets fired by an “assault rifle.”
Finally, GOF’s amicus brief reminds the court that the proper standard of judicial review was laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court in the D.C. v. Heller decision (2008). It is the constitutional text and history that governs the right to keep and bear arms, not judicial precedent and not ad hoc balancing of interests.