BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review of their challenge to Maryland’s ban on modern semiautomatic rifles.
Joining SAF and CCRKBA are Field Traders, LLC, the Firearms Policy Coalition and three private citizens, Micah Schaefer, David Snope and Dominic Banchi, for whom the case is named. The case is Bianchi v. Frosh. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John D. Ohlendorf with Cooper & Kirk, PLLC in Washington, D.C., Raymond M. DiGuiseppe at the DiGuiseppe Law Firm, P.C. in Southport, N.C., and Adam Kraut, FPC in Sacramento, Calif. The brief may be read here.
As detailed in the 39-page brief, various circuits have upheld such bans by using what amounts to “a grab-bag of ad-hoc constitutional tests, varying from circuit to circuit,” with Maryland’s ban representing “perhaps the most extreme test contrived thus far.”
The brief goes on to explain, “Maryland’s ban…singles out for special disfavor not a recognized type of firearm, but certain features included on some firearms. That makes Maryland’s law particularly irrational, since most of the features it bans actually serve to make the firearms on which they are included safer.” A few lines later, the brief observes, “In truth, the odd assortment of firearms Maryland calls ‘assault weapons’ are mechanically identical to any other semiautomatic firearm—arms that, as no one disputes, are exceedingly common and fully protected by the Second Amendment.”
The Heller case in 2008 affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
“We are pursuing this case because it is long past time for the Supreme Court to put an end to the legal gymnastics that have been used to uphold what amounts to an unconstitutional prohibition of semiautomatic firearms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Lower courts have perpetuated such bans based on whatever logic they can conjure up to justify their decisions. The Second Amendment is not going to disappear, and questions about what arms are protected need to be answered. You cannot allow guns to be banned based on cosmetics or what color they are.”