July 28, 2014:

D.C. ban on carrying handguns outside of home ruled unconstitutional

On Saturday, US District Judge Frederick J. Scullin struck down as unconstitutional Washington D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns outside of the home. The plaintiffs in the case (Palmer et al. v. District of Columbia et al.) were citizens of Washington D.C. who sought to strike down D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4), a statute banning the registration of handguns carried in public for self-defense purposes. In support of his decision, Judge Scullin referenced the recent Seventh Circuit case Moore v. Madigan, which held that “a blanket prohibition on carrying gun[s] in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home…”. The Palmer decision is being widely considered a victory for Second Amendment proponents. A copy of Judge Scullin’s Opinion can be found here.

Maryland District Court hears argument on ban of assault rifles with large capacity magazines

Last week, Maryland Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fader requested that Maryland District Court Judge Catherine Blake dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn portions of Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (SB 281), a bill that banned the sale and possession of 45 kinds of “assault weapons” and limited firearms magazines to ten rounds. SB 281 also includes provisions mandating handgun purchasers to submit fingerprints to the state police. In opposition to the request, firearm advocate and attorney John Parker Sweeney argued that the bill is not narrowly tailored and impacts some of the country’s most popular firearms. In response, Assistant AG Fader remarked that in passing the bill, Maryland reasonably focused on firearms used in military-assault style shootings. Judge Blake stated that she plans to release her written decision as soon as possible. A copy of SB 281 can be found here