AWB Upheld: This is Unfortunately Becoming Unsurprising

A federal judge has upheld the Maryland assault weapons ban that was passed in the wake of Sandy Hook.

Blake, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, wrote that she was not convinced that assault rifles such as the AR-15 are used regularly for self-defense. She wrote that they seemed to be “military style weapons designed for offensive use.”

Blake did not rule on whether the weapons or magazines are protected by the Second Amendment. But even if they are, she wrote, the bans are a legitimate way for the state to enhance public safety.

The law “seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines,” she wrote.

Of course, we’ve seen Bush appointees rule this way too, so this isn’t meant to single out Clinton appointees. I should again emphasize how much judges are culturally skittish of gun rights. Gun rights are a movement of ordinary people. Elites have never liked the peasantry to be will armed. Nontheless, we usually lose in district court. Some of our best victories have been disasters in federal district court. So we will appeal, and press on.

15 thoughts on “AWB Upheld: This is Unfortunately Becoming Unsurprising”

  1. Actually, she said she was “inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.”

    Moreover, she went on to say she was not convinced that they were commonly possessed.

    She accepted as gospel anything put out by the anti-gunners such as Daniel Webster who relied upon Mother Jones Magazine for his data and dismissed virtually everything that the plaintiffs submitted.

    As to an elite, she is a Radcliffe College and Harvard Law grad. Need you say more?

    1. So, she has shit for brains given that pedigree. Having a diploma does not make you smart and certainly does not grant you wisdom.

      I know plenty of examples personally that the more “educated” one is, the less enlightened and more radical they can be. Slavish obedience to the accepted orthodoxy despite the counter evidence of the real world.
      (Note I’ve got three degrees, but I have my head screwed on straight).

  2. As long a gun rights advocates/litigators pin their entire argument on the vague notion of “common use,” assault weapon bans will be upheld by every judge in the nation. It also didn’t help that the gun rights plaintiffs offered almost no expert testimony and attacked almost all of the state defendants’ experts on summary grounds.

    Fordham University law professor Nicholas Johnson identified the best (and probably only viable) judicial challenge to assault weapon bans in his 2009 law review article Supply Restrictions at the Margins of Heller and the Abortion Analogue: Stenberg Principles, Assault Weapons, and the Attitudinalist Critique.

    Maybe someday one of these guys will read it.

    1. I don’t think there’s a magic pill. I don’t think there’s an argument that’s going to get around the fact that some judges are fundamentally uncomfortable with the implications of a strong 2nd Amendment.

      You have to win elections. Even that’s not a guarantee with this crowd.

      1. Yep. In fact before the Heller ruling, Federal judges were fundamentally uncomfortable with even a weak 2nd Amendment.

    2. We are not wanting to rely on it- unfortunately we have to because that is what the Supreme Court held in Heller.

      From what I read of that article, it misses the simple way “Assault Weapons” can protected under the Heller/Mcdonald holdings on the Second Amendment- they are weapons in common use for self defense. They are the same, if not better, than handguns, especially for use in the home- exactly where Heller says the Second Amendment protects guns the best.

      Just because a judge doesn’t understand what “common use”, “self defense”, and “dangerous and unusual” mean, doesn’t mean that they are right. Her decision, and most opposing proper protection of this this civil right, are based on the argument of “because GUNS.” That’s it.

      Eventually the courts will catch up to the rest of the population- just like it took 100+ years for black to have proper justice (or maybe just injustice with the rest of us now), it will take us many years for judges to wake up to the new reality.

      1. There’s a point that could be made that the Heller Court never intended the common use language in the opinion to be developed fully into doctrine. We latched on to that because it provided a mechanism by which a large number of firearms could be broadly protected. That’s a different thing than the Court actually wanting to go there with a full blown test.

        I’m more of the opinion that because the Court provided so little guidance so far, they can’t blame us for doing our best with what we’ve been given. So I’m in favor of promoting the common use test, and making the court face their own language and logic.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean the horse is going to drink, just because you lead him to that particular water.

    3. @Glen: You are clueless.

      Plaintiffs put forth expert testimony out the wazoo. I won’t do your work for you, but the list is extensive. I was one of the experts deposed in that case.

      These plaintiffs are the first to have put Webster and his ilk under a microscope. Did you know that this is the first time any of them were deposed under oath, ever? Did you read the admissions they made?

      As for experts on the plaintiff’s side, did you miss the testimony of the last commander of MD’s Gun Licensing Unit, who openly testified that the process was political and he quit in disgust because of it? That there is/was no basis for the law other than “votes”, and he was told that by the Governor’s staff directly?

      Being on the internet gives you the right to an opinion. But it does not give you license to make shit up.

  3. I hate it when judges rule that the second amendment allows for restricting dangerous or unusual weapons, instead of answering the question: does a freakin pistol grip make rifle dangerous or unusual?

  4. sad to see that you can become a federal judge while remaining confused about words like “dangerous” and “unusual” (both being especially weird in light of the way HBAR AR-15s are regulated in MD).

    …but this is what we expected down here.

  5. This doesn’t surprise me in the least. The language in Heller indicated that the Supreme Court might accept bans on certain types of weapons that were not in ‘common’ use.

    When you have a law passed by the people’s representatives PLUS a Supreme Court decision winking and nodding like that, it’s an easy decision for a lower court unless there’s some compelling reason to rule otherwise.

  6. Any federal court challenge in the 4th Circus is futile. The 4th circus is a (former) collective rights circus and has not missed a trick in maintaining that status. It would probably be more accurate to classify them as “police statists” on the bench.

    isn’t it funny that the oft panned 9th Circuit court has ruled better on RKBA recently than the 4th?

  7. Appeal it, then appeal it again until it gets to SCOTUS, along with the other half-dozen Pro-2A cases that these Liberal Judges across the Republic keep denying.

    It’s the only way to settle this.

  8. You’re right, such a decision is always going to be expected in the lower courts. Hell in CT after the elections the police are going to start going house to house to confiscate the guns that were never registered and/or banned and lets say they end up killing a few hundred CT gun owners I suspect the courts would rule in such a way that to favor the government and make legal the CT police can without a warrant break down the door, drag the gun owner(s) out of there houses and publicly execute them in the street in there own yards and will never be prosecuted for it. In fact they will be given total immunity to it. Maybe instead of raiding houses when they start losing too many officers due to such raids and when people come from out of state like at the Bundy ranch when We The People start shooting back simply blow up the houses they live in with bombs while the residents are inside. To they CT government and to liberal progressives perfectly acceptable behavior. Maybe have machine gun posts at all borders and when people drive into CT they are forced to remain in there cars while the police search the car and when they find the guns machine gun them to death.

    After all to the liberal progressive collectivist they only good gun owners are dead gun owners.

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