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Kolbe v. Hogan
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
849 F.3d 114 (2017)
Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act (FSA), enacted in 2013 in response to a nationwide increase in mass shootings, banned military-style semiautomatic rifles—for example, the AR-15—that the act deemed to be assault weapons. The FSA also prohibited the sale or manufacture of magazines with a capacity above 10 rounds. Stephen Kolbe and Andrew Turner (plaintiffs) challenged the constitutionality of the FSA in federal district court, arguing that both the banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines served valid purposes of self-defense. Kolbe and Turner’s claims were based primarily on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The state (defendant) contended that assault weapons and high-capacity magazines enabled shooters to achieve much greater lethality than more-traditional firearms, putting more innocent civilians and police officers at risk. The court applied intermediate scrutiny and upheld the statute, grating summary judgment in favor of the state. A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed, holding that the district court should have applied strict scrutiny. The same court then heard the case en banc.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)
Dissent (Traxler, J.)
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