Is Maryland Assault Weapons Ban in Trouble?

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After the Newtown shooting left 26 people dead — 20 of them small children — the state of Maryland passed a ban on semiautomatic high-capacity assault weapons. Now that gun-control law is in trouble.

The Maryland law bans 45 different types of assault weapons as well as high capacity magazines carrying more than 10 rounds, with the idea that such weapons are disproportionately used in mass shootings. The gun law, one of the strictest in the country, was also a signature triumph for then-governor Martin O’Malley.

But other states didn’t like Maryland’s new rule, even if it didn’t directly affect them. Twenty-one states joined forces in a legal effort to challenge the ban in courts. Meanwhile, in the weeks after the San Bernadino shooting, national support for an assault weapons ban hit an all-time low.

A federal court upheld the law last year, but yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit disagreed, and sent the case back to the lower court for review. That means that the Maryland law still stands… for now. The case will now either go back to the 4th circuit for review, or may make its way to the Supreme Court.

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