Maryland gun law debated in federal court

by David Collins,  |  published on July 22, 2014

BALTIMORE —Gun rights advocates took aim at Maryland’s new gun law Tuesday in federal court.

Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed a comprehensive gun-control measure that supporters said makes Maryland’s gun laws among the strictest in the nation.

They are challenging the constitutionality of the state ban on semi-automatic weapons and limits on the number of rounds in magazines.

Gun advocates contend Maryland’s 2013 ban on certain semi-automatic weapons deprives law abiding citizens of their constitutional right to possess some of the most popular and commonly used guns for recreation and protection.

Gun advocate lawyer John Parker Sweeney argued before Federal Judge Catherine Blake that the Maryland General Assembly didn’t consider an alternative to a ban nor taylor the law to make it narrow and less harmful.

He said legislators did not have evidence indicating there was a problem to justify the ban. And he used a deposition from the author of a universally accepted firearms study to make the point that neither the 10-year federal ban on these weapons nor Maryland’s prohibition reduced crime.

Sen. Brian Frosh led the floor fight on Maryland’s sweeping gun control legislation.

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