Twenty-One States Fight for Gun Rights

April 14, 2016

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this week led 21 states in their continued fight against a Maryland weapons ban, which prohibits sale, transfer and possession of certain firearms and magazines.

The coalition, which won a crucial victory regarding the case in February, filed its supplemental friend of the court brief Monday in advance of the case being argued next month before the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The Second Amendment protects these very weapons and my office will vigorously defend that right for all West Virginians,” Attorney General Morrisey said.

In February, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled semiautomatic rifles and standard capacity magazines subject to Maryland’s ban are protected by the Second Amendment.

The appeals court further agreed with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and the 21-state coalition in ruling the district court must adopt a strict standard when it reconsiders the constitutionality of Maryland’s weapons ban.

After the February ruling, the full 4th Circuit set the case for further arguments on May 11.

Monday’s brief argues that a recent Supreme Court case supports the conclusion that weapons banned by Maryland’s law are protected by the Second Amendment.

Any 4th Circuit ruling sets case law governing West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia for any similar future state or federal laws.

The Maryland ban would apply to many common semiautomatic rifles and many standard capacity handgun magazines. The original three-judge panel, in ordering the stricter review, had ruled such a ban infringed upon core Second Amendment rights and severely burdened one’s constitutional ability to keep commonly used weapons in the home.

West Virginia filed its friend of the court brief with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

View a copy of this week’s brief here:,-21-States-Fight-for-Gun-Rights.aspx

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