A federal appeals court challenged the legality of Maryland’s assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban on Thursday, ordering the original district judge to reconsider an earlier decision that upheld the ban.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, said the law infringes on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, and sent it back to the lower court for a closer look using stricter constitutional standards.
“In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment,” Judges William B. Traxler Jr. wrote in the majority opinion. He added that the law “significantly burdens the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home.”
Maryland’s ban was passed in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
It prohibits the sale or ownership of 45 types of military-style rifles, and of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.