A federal judge turned back a move by gun groups to halt the state’s new gun law just days before it is set to go into effect. The ruling means the law will not be temporarily blocked. A more expansive hearing on the constitutional challenges will take place before a the court’s final ruling.
U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake said the challengers undercut their own argument for the urgency of halting the law by waiting until a few days before the law is to go into effect to challenge it. Lawyers for the state point out that gun dealers profited from a frenzy to buy guns before the law took effect, and then waited until after they could reap those benefits to file the challenge.
Maryland’s law is one of the more sweeping state laws to pass after the Newtown Massacre, and includes an assault weapons ban, restrictions on magazine size, and a requirement that all gun purchasers get a license and submit a fingerprint sample.
While the NRA-backed groups are challenging the constitutionality of the law’s assault weapons ban and limit on high-capacity magazines, even Justice Antonin Scalia has previously made clear that “dangerous and unusual weapons” of the sort not “in common use” by the public can be regulated or banned under the Second Amendment.