Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Most Common Rifle In America Not Protected By The Second Amendment

In a ruling today, US District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake, a Clinton appointee, said that AR-15s and semi-automatic AK-47s were not protected by the Second Amendment. Her opinion came in a Maryland case, Kolbe et al v. O'Malley et al, in which the plaintiffs were challenging the state's Firearm Safety Act of 2013.
Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.

First, the court is not persuaded that assault weapons are commonly possessed based on the absolute number of those weapons owned by the public. Even accepting that there are 8.2 million assault weapons in the civilian gun stock, as the plaintiffs claim, assault weapons represent no more than 3% of the current civilian gun stock, and ownership of those weapons is highly concentrated in less than 1% of the U.S. population.

The court is also not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ claims that assault weapons are used infrequently in mass shootings and murders of law enforcement officers. The available statistics indicate that assault weapons are used disproportionately to their ownership in the general public and, furthermore, cause more injuries and more fatalities when they are used.

As for their claims that assault weapons are well-suited for self-defense, the plaintiffs proffer no evidence beyond their desire to possess assault weapons for self-defense in the home that they are in fact commonly used, or possessed, for that purpose.

Finally, despite the plaintiffs’ claims that they would like to use assault weapons for defensive purposes, assault weapons are military-style weapons designed for offensive use, and are equally, or possibly even more effective, in functioning and killing capacity as their fully automatic versions.
Plaintiffs in the case included the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Maryland Shall Issue, the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, the Maryland Licensed Firearm Dealers Association, a number of businesses, and individuals Stephen Kolbe and Andrew Turner. The defendants included Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD), Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D-MD), and the Maryland State Police.

In reaching her conclusions, Judge Blake relied extensively on the testimony of such anti-gun stalwarts as Prof. Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Christoper Koper of George Mason University, the Violence Policy Center, and Lucy Allen of NERA. She even accepted as valid a database maintained by Mother Jones Magazine. She refused the plaintiffs' motion to exclude their testimony as flawed.

Judge Blake clearly indicates by her footnote on page 24 that she does not understand the difference between a M-16 and an AR-15. Indeed, she considers the AR-15 to be more dangerous.
The Supreme Court indicated in Heller I that M-16 rifles could be banned as dangerous and unusual. 554 U.S. at 627. Given that assault rifles like the AR-15 are essentially the functional equivalent of M-16s—and arguably more effective—the same reasoning would seem to apply here.
Applying intermediate scrutiny to the case, Judge Blake concludes:
In summary, the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, which represents the considered judgment of this State’s legislature and its governor, seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines. The Act substantially serves the government’s interest in protecting public safety, and it does so without significantly burdening what the Supreme Court has now explained is the core Second Amendment right of “law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” Accordingly, the law is constitutional and will be upheld.
In looking at this ruling, it is time to call a spade a spade. This is a bullshit ruling by an extremely biased, anti-gun judge. It should and must be appealed.


  1. "The available statistics indicate that assault weapons are used disproportionately to their ownership in the general public and, furthermore, cause more injuries and more fatalities when they are used."

    What? Some 300-400 deaths involving rifles in the United States in a year - obviously not all ARs, but whatever - when something like 3 million owners are out there (~1% of the population) is disproportionate to their ownership? Using the absolute like 0.013% of people who own AR15s might use them criminally - and that's a huge number? That's "disproportionate"?

    Wait, let's look into this some more. If 400 people are killed with AR15s, and 8400 by other firearms (FBI crime statistics 2012), that's a ratio of 1:21. What's 21 times 3 million? 63 million. Well that sounds pretty close to the right ballpark for number of firearm owners, or at least it's not off by some huge factor. I certainly wouldn't go throwing around terms like "disproportionate" when we're talking about 1/80th of 1% of gun owners potentially using them nefariously.

    This WILL be appealed. And Blake should be retired.

    1. And Blake should be [strike]retired[/strike] prosecuted. FTFY.

      (what do you mean you dot support any strikethrough HTML codes?)

    2. She's correct that AR-15s are used disproportionately in crime. She's just going the wrong direction.

      AR-15s are disproportionately uncommon as crime weapons.

      And I've said it elsewhere: it takes a special kind of mental contortion to start with "the most popular rifle in America" and end with failing the "in common use for lawful purposes" test put forth in Heller.

    3. Not to mention the SCOTUS opinion in Miller (1939) about a firearm's usefulness to a militia.

  2. It is worse than improper use of ownership stats - the judge essentially uses a circular argument to find the law constitutional: The guns are not widely owned (only by the millions!), hence are not common. And they are not useful to home defense (an unsupported assertion). But they are common enough to be disproportionately used by criminals (a blatant falsehood), and police say they are scary dangerous (an unsupported falsehood by police and the judge).

    So a weapon that is effective against police by criminals is ineffective against criminals by citizens; a weapon used by criminals enough to rise to the level of disproportionate use is not common enough to be owned by citizens; and because the weapons are not used often enough for home defense they are unsuitable for home defense.

    Good lord, under such specious 'reasoning' the judge could allow members of any minority to be rounded up, loaded on cattle cars, and sent to the gas chambers. Because the plain words of the text of the constitution apparently mean nothing, and only the opinions of judges mean anything!

    1. "So a weapon that is effective against police by criminals is ineffective against criminals by citizens"

      And yet, despite its apparent ineffectiveness against criminals, police overwhelmingly insist on having them as their "patrol rifles" and "personal defense weapons."

      Under her reasoning, because guns in general are *only* owned by about 40% of the population, gun owners are a minority, gun ownership isn't "common enough," and so we can just ban anything and everything.

  3. Personal Defense Weapon Solicitation, 5.56x45mm, selectable fire, capable of accepting M-16 magazines, picatinny rails, etc


    Her argument falls apart in the face of the federal government's own procurement system. Hopefully the lawyers in charge of this case will see or have seen this document.

  4. Concur!!! Gah... Talk about currying favor! Kissing up for a possible SCOTUS position or something??? Nah...

  5. I WILL BUY and retain ANY long gun I please, and thats just the way it is...........
    Roger V. Tranfaglia

  6. So much for the Constitution. So this is what liberal "rule of law" looks like? Rule of mini tyrants if you ask me. Our once free nation dies from a thousand cuts.

  7. Well she`s not protected by it either

  8. What part of "...shall not be infringed" is not being understood by an obtuse thinking court?? The 2A is all about halting tyranny, not anything about what types of firearms are better or not. Since when does any court think they have been given the power to second guess the Founding Fathers when the courts "interpret" what was really meant when the amendment was written??

  9. This judge is far more dangerous to the American People than any Criminal who has stolen a firearm, and is using it in criminal activity. She must be impeached and her ruling reversed.
    She has not the slightest legal integrity to be allowed to make any determinations like this.

  10. So....in other words....... the judge basically said, "Assault weapons are icky and should not be owned by civilians because ....... I don't like them."

  11. A poster child for the word "overturned.".
    Ignorance, stupidity, and bias in the judiciary comes fully to the surface.

    If there were any justice, this would ruin her career and tarnish her reputation permanently.