The petition for certiorari spotlights continued disregard by lower courts for Second Amendment protections recognized by nation’s highest court
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 16, 2021) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is asking the United States Supreme Court to strike down Maryland’s unconstitutional ban on so-called “assault weapons” in a petition filed today. FPC’s petition seeks to have the Court overrule a misguided Fourth Circuit decision that held common semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15 rifle were “like M-16s” and unprotected by the Second Amendment. The petition for certiorari in Bianchi v. Frosh can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.
“The firearms banned by Maryland are clearly protected under any honest reading of the Second Amendment and the Court’s Heller and McDonald decisions,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s senior director of legal operations. “For over a decade, lower courts have ignored the text of the Constitution, binding Supreme Court precedent, and the relevant history and tradition to improperly uphold bans on constitutionally protected common arms. However, this case presents the Court with an ideal vehicle to both address the scope of protected arms and constitutionally infirm analysis applied by these recalcitrant lower courts. Just as Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez held in our Miller v. Bonta case, the Supreme Court should grant this petition for certiorari and make clear that these common arms are protected and cannot be banned by any government.”
“Like the handguns at issue in Heller and McDonald, these semi-automatic firearms are ‘in common use’ and ‘typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.,’” notes the petition. “They may be freely purchased and used in the vast majority of States, they are no more dangerous than any other semi-automatic firearm, and Americans own them by the millions for purposes such as home-defense, hunting, and target shooting.” The petition ends by saying that the Court “should grant the writ to prevent the guide penned by the Fourth Circuit from leading the lower courts down a path that will eviscerate the protections intermediate scrutiny was designed to afford.”
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the right to keep and bear arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeiture, privacy, encryption, and constitutionally-limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org) is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the right to keep and bear arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.