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Federal Courts Won’t Enjoin Maryland’s Gun Control Laws

Judge Catherine Blake, a Clinton appointee, has denied a request for a preliminary injunction, allowing Maryland’s new gun control laws to go into place. This is not terribly surprising. The lower courts have generally been unwilling to take the Second Amendment seriously, the the 4th Circuit Court of appeals has hardly signaled they are willing to blaze new ground when it comes to developing Second Amendment case law. I haven’t seen the actual denial, but the article mentions that Judge Blake didn’t seem to consider abridgment of Second Amendment rights to be any big deal. Hopefully this won’t portend how the rest of the case will go.

One Response to “Federal Courts Won’t Enjoin Maryland’s Gun Control Laws”

  1. Matt says:

    I think this is all going to depend on how long it takes for the state to get the HQL process up-and-running. If they do it in a month, I suspect this type of challenge goes nowhere.

    That being said, I think it will go longer and I think the ruling will be appealed. There have been “defacto bans” before of a few days but has there ever been one of indeterminate duration? I think even states like IL and NJ had their permitting systems up and running in time or close to the going into effect date.

    And that was before Heller and McDonald. Like it or not, as Maryland does not have an explicit right to arms in its State Constitution, it defers such rights to the Federal Constitution. Meaning the 2A should be legally binding on MD due to McDonald at this point.

    Given Heller found handguns specifically were protected under the 2nd and McDonald incorporated against the States, I cannot see how such a ban absent an HQL (which cannot be issued at this time) can survive a challenge long-term.

    Of course, we need to define “long-term”. I suspect the 4th will say that the inability to get a handgun is not an infringement as you can still buy rifles and shotguns. Thus your 2A rights are not impaired. In the meantime, since the vast majority of MD gun stores stay in business selling regulated firearms (handguns and certain rifles, many of which now banned), the inability to sell them may destroy the gun culture in MD indirectly by driving the dealers out of business.

    I hope an appeal gets fast-tracked to the Supreme Court. This can either be a good thing for MD and force the incorporation issue and gun ownership rights front-and-center or a disaster by slow-killing gun rights in MD. Especially if the time to get the HQL process up takes months. I wouldn’t be shocked if Gansler announced the training regimen and final rules from the MSP won’t be available until December or January for private citizens to avail themselves of at the earliest.

    Disclaimer: I live in this god-forsaken state.

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