Supreme Court Denies Hearing Over Assault Weapon Prohibition

( – Maryland passed an assault weapons ban after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut in 2012. The law prohibited 45 types of assault weapons and limited gun magazines to 10 rounds. The US Supreme Court has now turned a case challenging the law away.

On May 20, the Supreme Court denied a petition to hear a challenge to the Maryland law. Instead, the justices sent the case back down to the lower court. As usual, the court did not give a reason for denying the case, but it would have been atypical for the justices to take up the case when the lower court has yet to make a decision.

The challenges to the Maryland law date back years. In 2017, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 10-4 ruling upholding the law. Judge Robert King wrote the majority opinion for the court and cited the SCOTUS’ District of Columbia v. Heller decision. He wrote, “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war.”

The US Supreme Court later refused to hear an appeal of the lower court’s decision. After the high court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the justices ordered the lower courts to review the case again. The Bruen ruling set a test, saying gun laws across the country have to be consistent with a historical tradition of firearms laws.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals took the unusual step of assigning the case to the entire court, instead of the standard three-judge panel. Pro-gun rights groups then filed a petition with the high court and asked the justices to allow the case to leap-frog the appellate court. They claimed the case was of “imperative importance.” The SCOTUS disagreed.

If the 4th Circuit rules against the gun groups again, they’ll have an opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court again.

Copyright 2024,