ARs “Fall Outside Second Amendment”, Says US District Judge

United States District Judge Catherine C. Blake has made a ruling in the Marlyand assault weapons ban lawsuit, Outdoor Wire reports:


“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.
Nevertheless, the court need not resolve whether the banned assault weapons and [large capacity magazines] are useful or commonly used for lawful purposes, see Woollard, 712 F.3d at 875–76 (making clear that courts need not decide the infringement issue to rule on Second Amendment claims), and will assume, although not decide, that the Firearm Safety Act places some burden on the Second Amendment right. See Heller II, 670 F.3d at 1260–6.”
As a Maryland native, and one who worked behind the gun counter in that state during the 2013 rush, I found this decision interesting. The decision looks less agenda-driven, and instead poorly informed. I cannot comment on the effect of semiautomatic rifles on school shootings, except that bad guys having guns is obviously bad, and bad guys having better guns is obviously worse, but several lines betrayed clear unfamilarity with the subject on the part of the judge (especially the bit about semi-automatic rifles somehow possibly being more effective than fully automatic ones).
Hopefully, an appeal will be filed, and normality eventually restored in Maryland.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Pedro

    MD is so misguided when it comes to Citizens Rights

    • Anonymoose

      Rights? What are these “rights” you speak of, serf?

    • jdkchem

      It’s the “Free State”.

  • Mad Marsupial

    I’m not so sure about your comment (or rather your call on the judge’s comment) where you state “especially the bit about semi-automatic rifles somehow possibly being more effective than fully automatic ones”.

    In the hands of a less skilled shooter (someone without military experience) surely a self loading weapon would be more controllable – and thus potentially more accurate or deadly – than an automatic weapon that might be more liable to jump about and fire more wildly (and empty mags quicker)? Your thoughts on that?

    In my mind an AR15 would be easier to handle and less prone to ‘enthusiastic misuse’ than a M4/M16. A bad man doing bad is gonna want to be a tough guy and hit the auto ‘giggle button’ if he has one – even if it screws with accuracy!

    The judge is talking out of their ass on just about everything else though!

    • Anonymoose

      And? They’re 30 round mag will empty in a split second and they won’t have hit anything (or less things). People are more careful and deliberate when they have to use semi-autos and bolt-actions.

    • I will elaborate: A select-fire rifle has the functionality of both an automatic and semi-automatic firearm. In this case, the automatic firearms in question are select fire guns capable of both.

      I don’t disagree (and neither does Army research, for that matter), that in most cases semi-automatic fire is more useful and effective than full-auto fire. However, a select-fire gun allows for the use of either, at the user’s preference, which makes them more versatile and is the primary reason behind their widespread adoption by militaries around the world.

  • Cymond

    I understand this is important, and it’s breaking news, but a court ruling about a gun ban and the Second Amendment feels, well, kinda political.
    FWIW, I think it’s a ridiculous ruling. Yeah, they may be a small percentage of total firearms, but that’s because of the HUGE number of old firearms in circulation. They absolutely *dominate* sales of new rifles. The AR-15 has been called “the most popular rifle in America” and I suspect that’s true. Yes, it is often brutal when a modern sporting rifle is used in a crime, but the overall crime rate with rifles is shockingly low. Rifles (ALL rifles) are used in only a few hundred homicides per year (322 in 2012), compared to about 6,000 homicides with handguns per year (6,371 in 2012). You are more likely to be bludgeoned to death (518 in 2012) or beaten to death without a weapon (678) than killed by a rifle. This data was NOT hard to find, it took longer to type this paragraph than find these statistics. There is no excuse for the judge’s ignorance.

    • n0truscotsman

      Yeah its not like the Federal Bureau of Investigation belongs to the US Department of Justice or anything…

      • usmcmailman

        You mean, The Department of “Just-US” ?

    • sianmink

      Yeah, what other single rifle carries 2-3% of the total firearms market? the 10/22 and Remington 700, and nobody can say that those aren’t ubiquitous.

      • usmcmailman

        Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww ! Big word !

    • Sometimes it can be difficult to separate news from politics. However, if the discussion of the ruling can be kept free of political bickering, I don’t feel the post violates TFB’s motto.

      If Steve feels he needs to, he can step in, and he does see every post before it goes up.

      • Cymond

        Yeah, I know, this one isn’t too far down the political spectrum, but it is a lot more than most TFB posts. Obviously, even I have a political side some days.

      • I proofed and edited this and it’s not political in itself. It can be turned that way of course but I trust the readers won’t do that.

  • Nicks87

    Just more judicial activism from America’s worst generation (Excluding vietnam vets of course). It’s too bad all these worthless hippies got into positions of power so now they can make people’s lives miserable.

  • n0truscotsman

    “Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes,”

    As opposed to what? “unlawful purposes”?

    Civil rights are also not determined on a basis of their “frequency of use” and to suggest so sets a dangerous precedent.

    “particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right,”

    Jesus H christ, a district judge got this wrong!?

    Apparently she is functionally illiterate and has never read the Federalist papers No 29 and 46, which highlights the core of the 2nd amendment as enumerating the civilian populations (BOTH individual and collective) right to keep and bear arms to provide a means of overthrowing a hypothetical tyrannical government. This is just the Federalist Papers. I could continue on an entire other thread, as I have beat anti-gunners to death with this.

    Self defense, like hunting, is a PERK of the 2nd amendment.

    “and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.”

    US V Miller disagrees too, particularly because it pertains to arms in “common use” among the militia. Well gee, Stoner platforms are in “common use”, aren’t they!? They’ve only been the US military’s primary infantry carbine for half a century now.

    “First, the court is not persuaded that assault weapons are commonly possessed based on the absolute number of those weapons owned by the public”

    Just because political pamplets are not as “commonly possessed” compared to internet articles, does that mean their utilitarian value lessons their protections under the 1st amendment? of course not.

    “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.”

    And this is relevant how? are enumerated rights based on popularity alone? or utilitarian use by the masses? (you would probably think that if you followed the errenous belief that the right is collective only, which would make you more wrong than ever)

    “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.”

    Well you probably should talk to the FBI and address their Uniform Crime Report, which cites that 322 people in 2012 were murdered by ALL rifles. That is ALL rifles, and since the DOJ acknowledges that less than one percent of that total number are from AR15-type, “military style semi automatic” weapons, yes, only a moron would deny that assault weapons are used infrequently, given the statistical facts that are available.

    What a mental handicap job…/double facepalm/

    “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.”

    No, they really dont LOL. Again, a judge concludes this?

    “Assault weapons” are used in 1/5th of 1 percent of all homicides and 1-2 percent of all crimes/evidence in total, meaning, at worse, its equal to the proportion of guns owned by gun owners.

    Among the many things wrong with that statement, enumerated rights aren’t measured by a utilitarian value. That would defeat the entire purpose behind enumerated rights to begin with. The same fucktardian logic has been applied leading to things like stop and frisk, the patriot act, the constitutional nightmare that is the war on drugs, and NDAA 2012, surveillance, among countless other acts of judicial FUCKHATTERY.

    “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”

    Well, gee, even google is your friend. Need I pull out the stories of them being used in self defense?

    It is commonly known that AR15s and other such weapons are ergonomic, reliable, safe, lightweight, have low recoil, and, when loaded with purpose built ammunition, are less likely to overpenetrate than even handguns and shotguns. That makes them most desirable for home defense.

    As if ownership of AR15s is predicated upon “self defense” entirely to begin with (and its not, i debunked that above).

    This kind of stupidity is the very reason why it is nigh impossible to regain your rights back once you’ve lost them. And they accuse *us* of being paranoid and reactionary when we bring up the implications of incrementalism and the slippery slope of anti-gun idiocy??? some incentive to “compromise”.

    Lots of epic failure in her ruling. and complete fucking illiteracy on her part regarding the history of the 2nd amendment, willfull omission of the facts (from an appratus of the judicial branch ill add…ohhh the irony), and the cancerous, anti-American thought process behind “utilitarian needs” and determining rights based on how often they are used. Words cannot overemphasize how mentally ill the last thought process is…

    • Tom – UK

      I disagreed with the judge and agree with you but after reading your essay I feel like I’ve been beaten up and gang raped by a brutal 30 strong 8ft tall squad of moral outrage/legal domination. Good work!

      • n0truscotsman

        I saw “beaten up” “gang raped” and “domination” in your post and got a bit worried 😛

        I dont mean to sound irate, but I can only handle so much lack of logic at a time: its a physical symptom (logic deficiency) which results in outbursts, mild irritability, high blood pressure, and substantially increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.

        • Cymond

          “I dont mean to sound irate, but I can only handle so much lack of logic at a time: its a physical symptom (logic deficiency) which results in outbursts, mild irritability, high blood pressure, and substantially increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.”
          You said it perfectly. There’s a reason I hang around TFB instead of more politically-oriented blogs. I can only handle the anti-gunners in small doses. Wayne LaPierre’s job would break me.

          • n0truscotsman

            I’m going to be taking a break from the political side of guns for quite a while. That is why I’ve been frequenting here. 😀

    • La_Moose

      I will bet you two brand new shiny dimes that she has never actually held an AR-15 before.

      And as for the “Self defense” claim I have very good very basic answer for her.

      Body armor.

      Right now if you were to take a trip to good old Mexico and scout the local crime rings as I understand the only difference from the cartella’s and the military and the cops is that the military and cops are forced to wear covers on their kevlar helmets, the Cartel’s can go without and make due with good old OD green/khaki tan.

      • n0truscotsman

        Please dont bring up body armor.

        Now I need a drink…

        • “Please dont bring up body armor.” [link to “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act”]

          Sigh. I didn’t really need to know that. It says introduced on 07/31, so I assume this is a pre-file notice?

          • n0truscotsman

            I cannot say, but I assumed the same. I thought it was gun world over-exaggeration and rumor, but damn, it turned out to be true.

            Hopefully it gets quickly squashed. Worlds cannot convey how irresponsible and stupid that entire thing is.

          • The bill text is available now. It bans body armor Class III and above not purchased with approval of some level of government, military, or law enforcement. It doesn’t contain any exemption for occupational hazards. The current law even allows felons to possess body armor for occupational hazards documented by their employer.

        • Ironwulf

          Hard to believe there is any existing prohibition on body armor. What would prompt that?

          • “Hard to believe there is any existing prohibition on body armor”

            Current federal law prohibits felons from purchasing body armor unless their employer can document specific occupational hazards requiring it. Some states, notably CT, have laws restricting purchase of body armor (has to be face-to-face, not catalog order), and some states increase offenses for crimes committed wearing it. This introduced bill bans Type III or better armor for ALL civilians in all states.

            “What would prompt that?”

            The idea circulating recently in gun control circles is that someone with body armor can make themselves invulnerable to the police and therefor having armor is an intent to commit violence and avoid retribution. It largely seems to have started with the idea that the shooter at Sandy Hook wore body armor which actually ended up being false: the public cannot tell the difference between body armor and a tactical or load-bearing vest. It is also not really true that someone in body armor is invulnerable. The idea that someone might want body armor while hunting (accidents happen) or that the woman denied a concealed-carry permit to protect from her stalker, or an activist receiving death threats might want it seems to have escaped their consideration.

            For that matter, I operate in a select militia (an armed Sheriff’s Auxiliary) and we are looking at having body armor available. Hot, uncomfortable, heavy stuff, but a lot better than potentially getting shot without it. We can almost certainly get approval from the law enforcement we work under for that, but we really should not have to, nor should someone be forced to give up expensive property if they paid for it themselves and then leave our service. It appears to be more paperwork for no apparent public benefit.

          • dragon5126

            Sandy Hook? hardly… go back well over a decade to the Bank of America Robbery where the shooters wore full body armor and the police had to borrow armored cars and ARs to take them down, this is when they started banning body armor


          • dragon5126

            one word LIBERALS

      • usmcmailman

        BALONEY ! Body armor is useless against the proper ammunition!

      • LouAnnWatson

        one look will tell the whole story

      • Zebra Dun

        One of those who will spot ear plugs on the ground and declared them Rubber Bullets.

    • Steve Truffer

      Just one quibble: If you are referring to the FBI’s test of 5.56 vs handgun rounds, They were using full metal jacket, and the handguns were loaded with the heaviest commonly available “pills”. 147 grain 9mm is well known for its extreme penetration.
      If you have other sources, please make them known.
      Very good argument otherwise, too bad it is unlikely to be seen by those who need to read it most.

    • Ranger22

      Dude that was brillant. They should have had you argue that case. Pay attention folks…once they start taking away our rights we will never get them back.

    • n0truscotsman. You are unbelievably awesome. Grade A Hebi-approved awesome. If I could, I’d offer you a drink or two.

      • n0truscotsman

        nah, im just a dude with no tolerance for bullshit…
        but I could use a imperial stout. If you cant cut it, it ain’t beer…

  • Paul Epstein

    Restriction of the manner in which the 2nd amendment may be utilized, in other words the prohibition of the citizenry at large from posessing specific weapons, seems in all cases to be in spite of, and ignorant of, the continued efforts to deprive those in society who cannot reasonably bear arms in defense and protection of society to posess arms.

    It is obvious to any thinking person that bearing of arms requires the acceptance of duties to the public- both safety of the public and protection of the public. But so long as these duties are upheld, restrictions in how they are upheld and with what devices they are upheld, are both nonsensical and unconstitutional.

    Only upon the demonstration, to a jury of their peers, that a specific person is incapable or unwilling to assume the necessary duties to keep and bear arms without infringing upon their fellow citizen’s rights, should the garauntee of keeping and bearing of arms be deprived.

    To pursue any deprivation of rights outside this protection is plainly and obviously in dereliction of constitutional duty.

  • gunslinger

    ar’s aren’t good for defense?

    tell that to the boys (and girls) overseas that we need their service rifle because it’s not really good as a defense gun.

    • dan citizen

      i was going to make some lame quip about AR’s being bad, or fragile, and try to say something about the judge really advocating we all switch to AK’s or back to M14s….

      And then I thought better. This is a serious issue, and your point was so simple and well worded.

  • hydepark

    When was the last time an official of any kind was put to death for treason? Personally, I would prefer a more relaxed “red pill blue pill” solution where traitors and tyrants are given the opportunity to be exiled or face the gallows. The tree of liberty is thirsty.

    • bloodyspartan

      And since they keep infringing and taking away our Liberty and Lives we now have the Right to Inflict same on them.

      All of Me is Thirsty.

  • KestrelBike

    “First, the court is not persuaded that assault weapons are commonly possessed based on the absolute number of those weapons owned by the public.”

    Yeah, that’s why I can go into *ANY* Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Gander Mtn, Dick’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, [many] WAL-MARTS(!!!), some Military Base Exchanges (PX/BX/etc), and find plenty of options from ARs to pick from. That judge is a damned traitor.

  • dp

    Don’t worry, 1870 Trapdoor is still IN and legal
    Weooow militia, forward!

  • CrazyKg

    This is by far the most ridiculous explanation I have read on any single firearm related court decision. Get ready for more coming down the pipeline.

  • aweds1

    “Firearms Not Politics”?

    • J.T.

      Ya. I don’t get why this was posted either.

      • Blake

        Because “Firearms”. If you want to keep them, this is important.

        This isn’t politics, this is a legal affront to your 2nd amendment rights.

        I agree completely with TFB’s filtering out most of the “politics” around firearms and only posting important & relevant topics like this one.

      • “Ya. I don’t get why this was posted either.”

        It is pretty darn critical news to anyone owning ARs or what-they-call-high-capacity magazines in Maryland, planning on participating in any shooting sports in Maryland, or ever plan on traveling through Maryland with a firearm. It also may affect the disposition of ongoing lawsuits in other states, such as NY and CT.

    • A court ruling is news. If Steve feels differently, he has the ability to edit any posts I make.

      As long as the discussion remains free of political bickering, I think TFB’s motto is upheld.

    • Guys a discussion of law or an article relating to law is not political. Political would be something along the line of Republicans vs Dems, President this compared to president that. Generally talking about the actions or lack of actions of one political party and how good the other party is would be politics.
      Sure a talk like this can be turned into a political discussion very quickly but we trust you guys won’t do that.

  • Bill The Cat

    What part of “shall not be infringed” does this slut not understand?

  • Robert H

    I have lived in the “Free State” for sixteen years, and there is a reason that I have a “For Sale” sign in my window and for many reasons. But this gun debate is all over the place and all I can say is – If I cannot have a weapon to defend my family and home, I will not accept your weapon to defend your family and home.- Semper Fi !

  • dan citizen

    “doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes”

    Classic doublespeak…

    “ever since we banned slavery, we doubt there are legally owned slaves”
    “Since declaring bald eagles protected, legal bald eagle hunts are in decline”
    “Since 1986 the number of transferable machine guns has not increased”
    “During prohibition the public use of legal alcohol was almost nonexistent”

  • An Interested Person

    Somebody hired a terrible lawyer. Given how much evidence the judge was lacking, I would say they will need a new lawyer if the appeal will have even a small chance at success.

  • Joe Scanlon

    Live in MD.? Want an AR? Go buy1. It will be a heavy barrel.It’s a silly law,a look what we did foryou law.Buy a HB go through NICS bypass MSP, walk out the door!

  • Ken

    AR’s and AK’s aren’t in common use, but heavy barrel AR’s, SIG556’s, Vz.58’s, SCAR’s without flash hiders, Tavors over 29″, FN2000’s over 29″, etc apparently are. Also, we can still have AK pistols, AK shotguns, AR pistols, etc.

  • Pete

    If you still live in Maryland, move out now, while you still can. And if you think it is a joke, read some history about the Jews in 1930s Germany and how they put up with more and more abuse, thinking that it could only get so bad…because after all, “They can’t kill us.”

  • jpcmt

    I’m sorry, but I don’t believe this ignorant and politically motivated judge has legally defined what an “assault weapon” is??? Oh, that’s because there is no legally defined description of it yet. So to assume any black rifle, civilian or military owned, is the same thing is evidence that you did not take even a moment to consider what the hell you’re talking about. Civilian versions of military rifles that are automatic or “select fire” are heavily regulated. Otherwise, ALL other black rifles that are semi-automatic only are not in the same category as those military versions and should NOT be assumed to be one and the same.

    • Blake

      I think the Wikipedia definition will do:

      “An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.”

      Anything else with an autoloading system that fires one shot with one trigger pull is simply semi-automatic, regardless of what it looks like or the style of magazine it uses.

      Clearly this judge has no idea what she’s talking about.

      • n0truscotsman


        Even somebody that is intellectually bankrupt and uneducated can pull up wikipedia english on their search engine and type in the words, “2nd amendment, US constitution” and get the entire history behind it (the page is well cited). They would learn several things

        1.) the right exists for self defense, hunting, the formation of ‘unorganized militias’ and most importantly, providing a means to overthrow a hypothetical tyrannical government, repel invasions, and repel insurrections. The importance of hypothetical tyrannical governments is emphasized in the Federalist papers and social commentary at the time (blackstone and coxe).

        2.) The Miller supreme court ruling, while rife with stupidity, pretty much secured the right to common use weapons at the time (like AR15s now), despite this example of idiocy.

        3.) others im too exhausted to put up because I’ve beat this equine to zombification…

    • Blake
  • USMC03Vet

    Antonin Scalia needs to drop an elbow.

  • big daddy

    WTF do I own my ARs for? I am not and have never been a criminal. Well it’s one of the best guns available for HD, it has the most available aftermarket parts, it is supported by the military, I was trained on one so it is the one weapon available to me that I know inside and out and how to shoot it. The list goes on. This is another know nothing person making laws and rulings for the countries population. If you are going to make an assertion it’s best to educate yourself first, the BIGGEST problem with people is their own ignorance. I’m glad I live in Texas now!!!! How can a citizen have any confidence in their government with people like that? Answer: They cannot!!!!

  • Dave Riegler

    Sounds like the Judge has fallen out of step with the Constitution

  • DanR

    How ironic that the 2A was passed specifically to combat ignorant political leaders like this judge. SHE is the reason the forefathers put this to writing and added “shall not be infringed”.

    • usmcmailman

      EXACTLY !!!!!!!!!!!

  • J

    Sounds like she’s a fan of muskets.

  • rockojb

    Just another example of why I left the People’s Republic of MD. Good job O’Malley, some ignorant federal judge upheld your unconstitutional “safety” act, and you’re one step closer to make law-abiding citizens into criminals.

  • jdkchem

    “(especially the bit about semi-automatic rifles somehow possibly being more effective than fully automatic ones)”
    That part would be correct everywhere except hollywood, or if your name is John Basilone. The advantage/effectiveness of automatic rifles is in suppressing fire. Your machine gunner lays down fire leaving your rifleman free to close with and destroy the enemy.

    “Assault weapons” exist only in the minds of the anti-2A folks. The DoD has defined assault rifle, which contrary to the anti-2A folks continued blathering is not for civilian sale. What the judge is saying is that the firearms you cannot buy as a civilian are outside the realm of the 2nd Amendment. As someone else said “Since 1986 the number of transferable machine guns has not increased”

    The judge is woefully poorly informed.

  • Mmmtacos

    “… self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right…” Stopped reading there.

    • 🙂 Both McDonald and Peruta stated clearly that interpreting “bear” to mean “only in the home” is non-sense. One does not “bear arms” inside the home, they “keep them”. “Keep and bear” arms clearly means inside and outside the home. I don’t know how anyone could torture the words enough to mean anything else. There is a valid question of how the right to “keep and bear” arms has to intersect with public order, in the same sense that the 1st amendment is so balanced (i.e. libel, slander, actionable threats), but it has to start from an acknowledgement that the 2nd actually says what it says. Of course, personally, it is also clear that the “valid question” involved in balancing must meet the standard of strict scrutiny as does any enumerated right (and many non-enumerated ones), but that’s another issue.

      But the Constitution which at any time exists, ’til changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all.— George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

  • Chase Buchanan

    Nathaniel F wrote, “The decision looks less agenda-driven, and instead poorly informed.”

    Maybe so, but the thing is, the poor information IS the agenda. Josh Sugarmann created the term “assault weapon” for the exclusive purpose of deception and disinformation.

  • Julio

    Ill-informed, yes, but not perhaps on this point: “semi-automatic rifles […] being more effective than fully automatic ones”. Personally, I’d bet on 30 semi-automatic shots hitting 30 targets over the same number of fully-automatic shots doing so.

  • Bill

    This reads more like bad lawyering than an runaway judge. People forget that judges can only rule on the merits of a case based on the evidence and arguments provided them by the disputing parties: “Upon review of the parties’ evidence…” All those stats she cites likely came from one side or the other, and it was that attorney’s job to make sure that they were clear and taken in context (and anyone who doesn’t think military pattern rifles and firearms have been the weapon of choice in spree and mass killings just hasn’t been paying attention).

    Nowhere have I found reliable, valid frequencies on the number of times a military pattern rifle has been used in self defense, versus granddad’s shotgun or some random Bersa. I don’t know of any locally or regionally, so I’d be foolish to argue that they are good for home defense with a base rate of zero. We may believe they are intuitively, but judges rule on law and evidence, not intuition. While Milpats may be the fastest selling item in the market, we have to look at the population they are being sold to. I own more than one, but have never purchased a pure sporting firearm, cause I don’t hunt or compete. There are a lot of 870 duck guns and Nylon 66s to outnumber before ARs are the most popular gun in the land

    • Cymond

      It’s hard to find clear statistics on self defense, even without looking at a specific style of firearm. However, it’s easy enough to find anecdotes of defense with modern rifles.
      And I’m not sure what you mean by a “pure sporting firearm”. I don’t hunt or compete either, but I would definitely call my Marlin 81 “sporting”.

    • “All those stats she cites likely came from one side or the other…”

      Counsel did have expert testimony on the subject and there were several amicus curia with plenty of information on the ownership/use of ARs and the magazines affected by the ban. The judge selected what she wanted to hear and ignored the rest.

  • LordNarwhal

    “…particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right…”

    This is a misrepresentation of the Second Amendment. Self-defense in the home is not
    the core of the Second Amendment. It is protection. Whether it’s from threats inside or outside one’s dwelling.

    Furthermore, the Second Amendment cannot be discriminated against in levels of importance. The “core” of the Second Amendment is ALL of it.

  • lbeacham

    To use the defense favored by Democrats (hence Liberals) “It’s settled law” concerning AR-15’s owned legally by citizens under the 2nd Amendment. We have sufficient safeguards and laws currently to insure as best possible that these legal machines are not misused. Additional restrictions are only punitive to American citizens owning firearms legally.

  • gggplaya

    Slippery slope, she simply had no clue what an assault weapon is. We already have an assault weapons ban, now these are assault weapons too??? If you look at the historical definition of an assault weapon, it has nothing to do with being more effective at “assaulting” someone. But in fact its clear that’s what she believes the meaning to be. In her definition, an assault means offensive in which she would be correct in her meaning, but that’s not what “assault” standstill for.

  • 308T

    She’s a demoRAT so this ruling shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  • Aaron Russell

    Slowly but surely until we can’t protect ourselves from a tyrannical government.

  • Boredwithyou

    I don’t think an AR platform is correct for home defense, unless you own a large property. Even then “shooting outward” starts to compromise the defense of home argument, and is dangerous to other innocents. A short manageable platform like a pistol, with a big fat round that’s going to dump energy with limited penetration is a better way to go.

    Honestly a reasonably short shotgun is your best choice for several obvious reasons. Just racking a round is going to perk up an intruders ears like a jack rabbit and make him/her reconsider their “life plan”.

    • uisconfruzed

      The pump shotgun sound is an attention getter. I prefer my 300AAC SBR, and not announcing my location prior to necessary engagement. I advise most limited weapon experienced folk to get an 18″ 12 gua and load it with #4 turkey shot for home defense.

  • gunsandrockets

    I hope, but I have no faith, that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually correct the injustice of this lower court ruling.

    Just goes to prove how unreliable the courts are protecting our rights. It’s too much of a crap shoot. A better defense is control of the legislature — so bad laws never pass in the first place, or at worst get amended or repealed.

  • Guest

    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 – See more at:

  • TheLiberalEater

    “pon 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 ” – Ummm #dumbbimbo, Home defense is NOT what the 2nd amendment is about. Holy crap, this idiot is a judge?!?!

  • StupidJudgesOppressUs

    Why not just ban the term, “assault weapon”? How can you buy/possess/operate “one” if you can’t legally refer to “it”, hmm? After all, the term was coined by non-other than Adolf Hitler, so banning just those two words…in that combination…to begin with…is a no brainer.


  • Bob Honiker

    “Self-defense in the home”? Where in the 2nd amendment does it say that?

  • supergun

    The judge made the decision that she made, because she doesn’t like AR 15s. It was not based on the 2nd Amendment, just her personal opinion.

  • Jim_Macklin

    A judge without a research assitant and a 2nd Amendment lawyer who failed to cite the proper legal history.
    In 1939 the SCOUS did not rule in the Miller case, rather they explained some issues and returned the Miller case to the Arkansas Federal Court for a trial. There was no ruling or upholding the 1034 NFA. The USAG did not bring the case, even with the defendant Miller in abstinentia.
    But the Court did say in dicta that,

    “In the absence of any evidence tending to show
    that possession or use of a “shotgun having a barrel of less than
    eighteen inches in length” at this time has some reasonable relationship
    to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we
    cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and
    bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice
    that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that
    its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 15


    The signification attributed to the term
    Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and
    legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved
    commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all
    males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.
    “A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.” And further,
    that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to
    appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use
    at the time…”

    What this means is that the AR15 and all similar arms are exactly what the Court said were protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    BTW, Miller was missing, presumed dead and the remand trial never took place, probably because the 1934 NFA would have been found unconstitutional as the Miller first trial judge ruled when he dismissed the case.

  • uisconfruzed

    The second amendment is PRIMARILY to defend the citizens against a tyrannical government, not home defense. Get to know the law SFB.
    “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.”
    What an appointed dumb ass! Assault weapons ARE full auto/select fire,
    If the AR’s are more effective at killing WHY would the military have a single select fire SBR weapon?
    By this twits logic, a soldier pinned in a building with combatants coming at him has to chose between a M4 or an AR he’s better defended by the AR against the hoards.
    oBummer logic at work.

  • CherokeeScot

    Muzzle loaders during the time of the Revolution were branded “Assault weapons”. Is that crazy? Someday we will look back on the term being applied to so many firearms it will seem just as foolish. Furthermore, does the Second Amendment specify what type of firearm can be owned by a citizen? No it doesnt. So the application of any arbitrary terms to limit the type of firearm would, in itself, be a violation of the Second Amendment. The courts can say anything they want in the interest of political correctness, but I seriously doubt if the judges are going to come to your town to enforce a questionable or illegal verdict.

    • Colt_M1911a1

      And during that time it would not be unusual for a to own a small cannon or artillery piece. And to this day it is still legal. (Provided it’s black powder and muzzle loading.) The second amendment fully intended us to keep/bear the same weapons as the military. If you can afford to own/operate arm an Apache so long as you don’t shoot up the neighbors why not? Lets not get stupid and say “Atom Bombs” too because even governments cannot generally reach that goal easily.

  • Ken

    This is what happens when people in power set precedent regarding things they have no knowledge of. If you asked this judge to define an assault weapon I guarantee you’d get the blank stare as is always the case. Truly disappointing and sets dangerous precedent.

  • petru sova

    People in power want absolute power over their slave subjects. Only they have the right to be armed to the teeth which in all nations they are. Cut through the propaganda and see them for what they are. Dangerous tyrants who will stop at nothing to stay in power forever.

  • usmcmailman

    She is a typical Liberal MORON ! Does not qualify to “judge” anything !

  • Will

    Obviously she, and her staff, have never read, or do not understand, the definition of “Assault” rifles. Assault rifles are, by definition, full automatic capable.

  • LouAnnWatson

    every picture tells a story

    any questions?

  • LouAnnWatson

    not good for self defense? so if someone was attacking you with an ar, then using one for defense wouldn’t be a good idea? the pretzels leftist anti gun lgbt appointments twist themselves into is astounding.

  • Ironwulf

    It is NOT the ‘tools’ it is the ‘fools’. On the same day of the Sandy Hook massacre, a mad man in China took as many lives in a school with a KNIFE! The problem is WHY anyone does this and apparently, ‘Big Pharma’ has the media bought up on the problem:

    There are three obstacles to approaching the truth of these mass shooting events
    (The truth being that the vast majority of the killers are on some form of psychotropic
    or psychological behavior control drug):
    The Pharmaceutical industry
    The Psychiatric practice and that of course involves –
    The Medical practice/business.

  • Ironwulf

    The absolute bottom line of all weapons ownership is the true intent of the 2nd amendment. It was devised to assure the absolute power to “WE, the people” that we have the means to stand up to tyranny, as did the forefathers. In my humble opinion:

  • Zebra Dun

    Nope, The Second amendment does not stipulate what is the nature of the Arms that the citizen is allowed by rights to bear.
    An Arm is considered to be anything from a rock, Bowie knife to anything not designated as a destructive device due to over .50 caliber or with an exploding warhead.
    This judge is telling us she read the founders minds and extrapolated what they would have done 200 + years in the future.
    These folks make this stuff up as they go along, and are nothing less than tyrants who wish to own us as slaves and subjects when in fact we are their bosses and tell them what is the definition of IS, is.
    This is no longer Imperial America, this is a Constitutional Republic and the citizens are in charge, the plantation system was over thrown years ago and us slaves were freed.

    • RealityCheck

      Very nicely put. And I agree.

      The problem I see is, now that every podunk little PD in the country has come into possession of at least one surplus tank, and such armament can be very convincing if the SHTF. Joe Blow’s AR won’t be much help if the “tyrants” send their tank to confiscate it.

  • SickandTired

    This is exactly why Clinton appointed this judge to this position! So she can arrive at delusional decisions, that have nothing to do with Constitutional muster! Similar to how Law degrees are obtained these days. We are indeed at a tipping point in our Constitutional Republic.

  • Daisuke0222

    I don’t agree with the court’s conclusion but I suspect the “possibly being more effective” clause has to do with muzzle rise during fully automatic fire. I suppose it boils down to what the court means by “effective”.

    It seems that the court’s conclusion conflicts with the militia clause of the 2nd Amendment. Specifically the ruling mentioned “particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right”. Nowhere is self-defense in the home mentioned within the Amendment, nor do we find that as a prevalent argument in the Founders discussions about it (e.g. in the Federalist Papers). The court seems to be inventing the home defense argument.

    I think it’s probably true that an AR doesn’t make an ideal home weapon for defense against an intruder already in the home. The monthly column in the NRA magazine highlights incidents of defensive uses of firearms, many of those in homes, and I can’t remember a specific instance of an AR or other similar weapon being used for the purpose in the 20+ years I’ve been reading that magazine. On the other hand, protecting yourself or your property from violence/harm at a distance is an ideal use for an AR type long gun.

    None of the aforementioned provides sufficient reason to ban ARs in my mind, especially in light of the earlier ruling (back in the 1930’s I think) that the test of whether an arm ought to be allowed under the 2nd Amendment include whether that arm is suitable for use in militia service. By that argument, ARs ought not to be subject to ban or restriction. I understand the need to balance public safety, but balance doesn’t equate to “ban outright”.

    • Colt_M1911a1

      For AR’s used for self defense in the home and otherwise see this link…

      • Daisuke0222

        Cool, thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

        • Colt_M1911a1

          You are quite welcome. I appreciate facts and not hyperbole and it appeared you do also.

          We as a nation need to revisit the National Firearms Act (1934)

          and subsequent “Acts” and “laws” to restrict private ownership of any arms type as all were written to “restrict” criminals. Doesn’t a criminal by definition NOT obey the law? Laws enforced for violation of the use of firearms or of any weapon type<=Mandatory minimum penalties for use in a crime and these being restricted from plea bargaining would provide the deterrent needed and reduce the use by the criminal element as they would have no "escape" clause available when committing a crime while in possession of any weapon. Firearm violations seem to be the first to be "bargained" away. Lazy prosecutors looking to "save" the state money to get a "plea" and pad their win rate I say.

          Just my .02 worth.

          • Daisuke0222

            Yep. Give me facts and data any time over rumor and rhetoric.

      • Daisuke0222

        Wow! One of those stories occurred right in my neck of the woods!

  • Tucson_Jim

    Apparently “Shall NOT be infringed” does not apply to America’s single-most popular rifle design. Needs to be appealed and the judge de-benched by the voters… but, oh… that would require people to actually pay attention and go to the polls to vote in favor of their civil liberties.

  • Hank Seiter

    Yet another example of the fascist pigs who stealthily infiltrated our American justice system. I don’t remember the Second Amendment having a qualifier regarding any smallarm. The Kentucky rifle was the assault rifle of the day and the Founders would have emphatically defended the proposition (and they did) that rifled muskets were indeed protected under the Second Amendment.

    BTW, nuclear weapons, artillery and battleships ARE NOT smallarms or “arms”. So any leftard who tries to undermine the Second Amendment with references to those weapons is worse than stupid.

    BTW, leftist gun-grabbers … MOLON LABE.

    I’ve grown weary of these self-made fascists who want to tell me how and what with I can defend myself, my family and my country from tin-plated despots such as they.

  • jeffrey melton

    if ar’s are banned as a result of this ruling, the end of our freedom is soon to follow.


    “Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes” — isn’t the number one party that ownes the most assault long guns… the US military. So essentially the court is saying, the military primarily possesses these guns for UNLAWFUL PURPOSES.

    Considering what the US military does around the world, I concur. These guns should be banned from military ownership.

    • Yellow Devil

      Shaddup. All your comments thus far have just been trolling the military.

    • gfr

      You’re an idiot but you’ve hit on the truth. Traditionally civilians in the US have owned former service weapons as they have been sold off by the government. There is even a government program (the civilian marksmanship program), that facilitates this.
      If the Judge is correct in their ruling then they are saying that the federal government has been promoting the arming of the citizenry with unlawful weapons for more than a hundred years.

  • jm54

    i was with the 101st ariborne div in vietnam. i slept with an m-16 for a year. then i went to college on the gi bill,$130/month, and graduated and went to graduate school i am a graduate historian.then of course, university pay was so low i started working in the petro chemical industry in the houston area. since i am 69 years old and i have tried to pickle my brain, i have a couple of things to say, an “assault weapon” is one that is used for attacking a position and wasting the enemy. many “assualt ” weapons were semi automatic. like my ruger 10/22, or my remington hunting weapon, my semi auto sks. and my semi automatic .45 block hand gun and my beretta 9mm. anything can be an assult weapon, a knife, a rock, a baseball bat. i have no automatic weapons. these are obviously for military assault. this definition of assualt is by definition of intent. you can “assault” with a bb gun. this rediculous assertion that if it looks military, it is an assault weapon. i have 2 ar-15’s. one is chambered in 7.62X39, the other is nato military. i also have an lr-308 semi auto. i am a c&r and i rebuild wwI wwII military weapons. the amendments to the constitution are not static, someone comes along and interprets the 2nd differently. but that will change. the federal government does not have the manpower to take our weapons. i read that it was estimated that there are at least 5 million known weapons owned by americans. “known” is the key. there will never be a government attempt to take our weapons. the logistics are impossible in politics issues are used to please prospective supporters. it is all bull shit and has no meaning.

    • 35Whelan

      They won’t try to take everyone at once. It will be in select areas at a time. Let’s say, riot areas to start with. Riots are not difficult to cultivate in these troubled days of organizing and agitation. They can be created. A city in riot can be declared an emergency area and sealed off. Constitution zones, martial law, no weapons allowed. AKA, house-to-house search and seizure. They can do this one city at a time. The media will tell us what they are told to tell us. Things can move quickly once it starts. We are at a point right now where the powers that be can do anything they want with zero concern for legal repercussions, or any meaningful opposition. Impeachment and purse powers have already been surrendered. Those were all that remained. Literally ANY action could now be ordered and carried out. There are no legal authorities left who can say no. They are all bag men for the man. The cabinet can remove a POTUS, if they deem him unable to perform his duties. Good luck with that. As far as how far will it go…..these documents give a hint. Constitutional? Does it even matter (to them) when the rubber hits the road?

  • 35Whelan

    If they fall outside the scope of the 2A, then what exactly is the standard? What is in the scope, why, and what historical legal context are you basing any of this on, your honor? What about militia applications? The militia is not as of yet an illegal organizational structure. The militia require weapons of similar type and function as those of military units. This is to ensure the seamless sharing of resources, tactics, and technical know-how of fielded weapons. This is to ensure compatibility of lethality, parts, and ammunition in times of invasion. Times where all able bodied persons may need to be armed to defend their home towns. These lawyers do not have a legal argument to stand on, so they toss their own hand grenades at the constitution and dare someone to stop them, for they fear no reprimand. What should happen is disbarment or removal from the bench, when such egregious behavior and total disregard for the rule of law is displayed.

  • Weathermaker

    My grandmother, born in 1895 said women should not be in politics or the legal process. My mtoher born in 1921 agreed. This is just one of the reasons why. Not capable of rational thinking….ony emotional.

  • Larry Wilson

    That would mean the police don’t need them as well. If they do then so do I!!! My Second Amendment does not say…”Expect For” ..anywhere! The Judge is paid off and wrong, so I’ll keep mine.

  • Michael Kinney

    I see a lot of AR’s at the range when I go. At my age and health issues I really have no interest in owning one. But, I have concerns when any court talks like this.

    • gfr

      If I was old and sick, and I felt that I needed a firearm, the AR15 might well be the one that I would choose. It is accurate, easy to handle, and has a very mild recoil.

  • gfr

    When the second amendment was written one of the most important stated purposes within it, was to ensure that the citizenry have weapons to resist invasion. These weapons were supposed to equip the militia, and their nature was specified as being appropriate to that purpose.
    There is no way that the AR15 can be excluded as long as the M4 and M16 are the standard infantry rifle of the US military.

  • gfr

    The judge has got this wrong for a more fundamental reason. A “dangerous and unusual” weapon would have to OPERATE in an unusual way. An example of a dangerous and unusual weapon might be a hand-grenade. It’s not sufficient to say that the AR15 is unusual because there are X number of them.
    The AR15 operates in precisely the same way as any other semi-automatic rifle, and in a way that is substantially similar to semi-automatic pistols.
    It makes no sense to outlaw one brand of rifle, but not others. And RIFLES are NOT unusual weapons in the US.

    • Bobbellzebub

      The phrase “dangerous and unusual” covers more than just the operation of the firearm. The long-range accuracy, capacity and capabilities of the firearm and ammunition need to be taken into account. I’d take a close look at the ammo; is it designed to penetrate bulletproof material? Is this weapon for self defense, or is it designed for a sniper? Given the state of American society today, is it warranted to take the expansive view of the 2nd Amendment you have?

  • Sammy

    The only thing needed to fix this is the money to take it up stream. (USSC) Total infringement.

  • This guy .308

    Just my two cents. A TRUE assault weapon has fully automatic capabilities right? and i mean it has the immediate ability. so a semi automatic sporting/hunting rifle falls INLINE with the 2nd Amendment. I dont see a big deal here. Shes just going with the S**T flow.

  • dragon5126

    The Judge (and I use the term loosely) is clueless on the meaning of the Second Amendment. It is NOT about home defense, since the civilian Militia which it references is not used to defend the home. It is to defend the nation from governmental usurpation as well as foreign attack… It is indeed sad when the person who is supposed to know the law knows less of it than the layman does.

  • Secundius

    The only way she’s going to leave of is either Die While In Office, Retire While In Office, or, Quite While in Office, It’s a LIFE APPOINTMENT, People. You can’t Force her out of Office and/or Impeacher.