First of all, I should say that the reasoning that brought the court to this decision is weak. It was indeed a grand game of Judicial Twister to be able to reference the historical rationale for the militia in the 2nd Amendment, the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller that supported an individual right to own firearms, and then seem to fail to understand that the militia’s purpose was a military one and that the people therefore should be able to arm themselves with such weapons.
Here in Missouri, the actual, what we call “unorganized”, militias I’m familiar with (no, I’m not a member) all specify that militiamen are to provide their own AR-15 platform rifles or FN/FAL’s or other substitutes. Of course, the difference between Missouri and Maryland is that the role of the militia in the former is extremely well-described in its state constitution.
It’s because of my views on the the right of the people of the respective states to live under the laws that they want that I simply can’t say I’m looking forward to the inevitable Supreme Court case that will finish what was started with Heller and strike down these state bans on so-called assault weapons in a 5-4 decision once Gorsuch is confirmed. For better or worse, I think that the state of Maryland has the right to define what its militia is and how the people ought to be able to arm themselves. The legislature passed this law (in a reactionary panic to the Sandy Hook Massacre) and the governor signed it into law. There hasn’t been any success in any effort to repeal the law as it was passed: through the democratic process.
What about the 2nd Amendment? Well, what about it? My view is unorthodox, I suppose, but I don’t believe that the 2nd Amendment was ever intended to apply to the states. States and cities have always had the power to regulate the carry of classes of weapons and to determine what were the appropriate types of armaments for their citizens who would be expected to form the militia.
I’ll make clear that I’m pro-gun. Very much so. From a strict reading of the 2nd Amendment, I also believe that all federal firearms laws are unconstitutional. What’s also true is that I’m always leery of the courts striking down the popular will of any state’s people when the issue is one that the states have historically had the authority to make those determinations for themselves. The courts should have to meet an incredibly high standard before they can strike down any state law, in my perfect world. I believe this on abortion, definition of marriage, and most any topic I can think of.
If the people of Maryland want to ban scary-looking guns for a false sense of safety, I wish them the best, though I wish those in the blue states could similarly allow people in red states to their own choices.