State Watch

Conservative states urge justices to review Maryland assault weapons ban

A group of 25 Republican attorneys general has urged the Supreme Court to review a challenge brought by gun rights advocates against Maryland’s assault weapons ban. 

The GOP officials’ request, which came in court papers filed Wednesday, asked the court to agree to hear the challengers’ appeal after losing in the lower federal courts. 

At issue is a Maryland gun control law signed in 2013 that generally prohibits classes of guns deemed to be assault weapons, including AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles and some pistols. The law, known as the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, is one of the strictest in the nation.

Maryland enacted the law in response to the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 people, including 20 children.

Led by West Virginia and Arizona, the group of 25 attorneys general urged the justices to take up the case and ultimately strike down the Maryland law.

“Banning certain types of firearms goes against Supreme Court precedent and steps on the Second Amendment,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) said in a statement.

“Law abiding gun owners routinely use these firearms for self-defense or sporting. Such an unconstitutional act cannot stand.”

The amicus brief was joined by Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

The justices may consider the petition for appeal in the case, Bianchi v. Brian Frosh, during one of their upcoming weekly conferences.

Tags Attorneys general Gun control Maryland Second Amendment Supreme Court weapons ban

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