SAF, CCRKBA, FPC Sue Maryland Over Its ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Law

AR-15 rifle

Dan Z. for TTAG

From the Second Amendment Foundation . . .

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and its sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state of Maryland’s ban on common semiautomatic rifles.

The lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and captioned Bianchi, et al. v. Frosh, et al. Partnering with SAF and CCRKBA in the case are the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), a commercial business and several individual citizens.

Individual plaintiffs are Dominic Bianchi and David Snope of Baltimore County, and Micah Schaefer who resides in Ann Arundel County, where Field Traders, LLC, the commercial plaintiff, is also located.

Named as defendants are Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, State Police Secretary Col. Woodrow W. Jones III, and Sheriffs R. Jay Fisher of Baltimore County and Jim Fredericks of Ann Arundel County, in their official capacities. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Nicole J. Moss, David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John D. Ohlendorf with Cooper & Kirk PLLC in Washington, D.C., Raymond M. DiGuiseppe of North Carolina and Adam Kraut, director of FPC Director of Legal Strategy of Sacramento, Calif.

This makes the second federal challenge filed against Maryland gun laws in recent days. The earlier action challenges the state’s concealed carry law that makes it nearly impossible for average citizens to exercise their right to bear arms. At issue are Maryland’s laws that individually and collectively deny millions of people their fundamental right to keep and bear commonly-owned arms. That case is Call, v. Jones et. al.

“Maryland has instituted laws that ban scores of firearms simply because they look like other guns, and that cannot be allowed to stand,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As we note in the lawsuit, the right to keep and bear arms includes, but is not limited to, the right of individuals to acquire, transport, possess, purchase, and receive common firearms for all lawful purposes, including self-defense. Maryland bans such firearms and there is no basis for such a ban, so we’re taking the state to court.”

“So-called ‘assault weapons’ are some of the most commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, all of which are excellent for self-defense,” explained FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Maryland’s ban on these firearms robs its citizens of their right to choose, forcing them to purchase and use firearms that may not be what is best for them, including defending their homes and their families. All law-abiding adults have a constitutional right to purchase any of the semi-automatic firearms on the market today. Maryland’s laws are unconstitutional and we look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all individuals in Maryland and across the United States in this case and others.”


  1. avatar . says:

    Please define assault weapon.
    this trap again ^ ^
    My memory must be fading because I had thought the BATFE had declared an AR15 was not an assault weapon during the Clinton régime?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      It is not an “assault rifle.” Since the expiration of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, the federal government does not regulate semiautomatic rifles except as to overall length. “Assault weapons” are whatever state or local statutes define them to be, which varies by jurisdiction. California, for example, is famous for changing its definitions every time someone invents a workaround to the most recent restrictions in its quest to ban “evil black rifles” from the state. The majority of these bans are not “functional” bans, i.e, they do not ban rifles because they are semiautomatic, but rather are “features” bans, banning rifles because of muzzle devices, pistol grips, removable large capacity mags, and/or collapsible stocks, to name a few prohibitted features.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        (cough cough) removable standard capacity mags.

        FIFY 🙂

  2. avatar Debbie W. says:

    The label Assault Weapon falls right along the lines of the the N-word. Its sole purpose is to denigrate and belittle certain firearms and their owners. The sleazy tactic is straight out if the democRat Party Jim Crow Playbook.
    To argue with the pompous jerks behind Gun Control garbage is to give an agenda rooted in racism and genocide standing. Bottom line…Tell the pompous ratbassturds if they want them then stfu and come and get them.

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    Yeah, good, give it a shot. Won’t go anywhere in the circuit but you never know, SCOTUS might take cert. Personally I would like to see them attack NYC\NJ\MD etc for refusing to give carry permits out first but I know that’s not how it works… a bunch of stings, etc.

    Boy this new format makes is annoying. The best thing about the previous layout was that it was SIMPLE. The most recent article is right at the top. The second most recent, just below it. Simple is good. Know which search engine has been the most popular for decades? The one with nothing but a search bar in the middle of the screen. Because that’s what people go there for.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      FPC already has a “may issue” case in NJ based on 2A and 14A challenges.

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        They also have one in Maryland. From this article;

        “This makes the second federal challenge filed against Maryland gun laws in recent days. The earlier action challenges the state’s concealed carry law that makes it nearly impossible for average citizens to exercise their right to bear arms. At issue are Maryland’s laws that individually and collectively deny millions of people their fundamental right to keep and bear commonly-owned arms. That case is Call, v. Jones et. al.”

  4. avatar Hannibal says:

    *is annoying

  5. avatar MtnDewey says:

    America is gone….

  6. avatar MtnDewey says:

    ninth amendment should cover all of this…..and the 2nd of course. then due process, 24th as well….and a few others.

    1. avatar MtnDewey says:

      14th I meant

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    This sight which used to be excellent went rite down the toilet overnight, my prediction is views will decline percipiously.

    1. avatar Dustin Mead says:

      correct I doubt I come back

  8. avatar Sebastian says:

    I live in Maryland and have both an AR-15 and an AR-10. My understanding is that Maryland is restrictive in construction of AR-15s (Ironically not other bigger calibers) and require AR-15s with H-BAR barrels – which is just fine because a match grade one is accurate. Its their approved manufacturer and ban list thats stupid and non-sense. The concealed carry is spot on – absolute nightmare and takes 3 months. The amount of info you need to provide is asinine. There is also the restricted and unrestricted thing too. Total BS.

    1. avatar Dave says:

      In NJ it can take three plus months for a permit just to purchase a pistol and forget about a carry permit. Never happens plus we have the assault weapons ban and a couple years ago they restricted magazines from 15 down to 10. Sucks.

      1. avatar Sebastian says:

        We are a little better than NJ and have the 10 round restriction as well. The HGP process – which is for your permit to be allowed to buy handguns takes 2-3 months too. After that, the standard 7 days. Whats crazy is that I can just walk in the gun store and buy an AR-10/308, and those have no build restrictions (for the most part).

  9. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

    Seems like there are a lot of lawsuits, recently, perhaps because ACB is now on the Supreme Court??

    Good. I donate to both SAF and CCRKBA. I wish them Godspeed.

  10. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

    And what’s with all the complaints about the new format?? I’m an old guy and I’ve adapted just fine. Quit whining.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      I’m also old. Been around 7 years. It’s awful…

      1. avatar Dog of War says:

        It’s better than other attempts at redesigning the page. But it’s not that great.

      2. avatar Ing says:

        I’ve been here forever, too. Not quite old enough yet to put the O together with the FWG, but I’ve been commenting long enough to remember when FWW was new here. 🙂 I’m not sure I’d say the redesign is awful, but it is definitely not ideal for those of us who are in the habit of consuming TTAG content top-down in chronological order, like a typical old-school blog.

        But the newest posts are all still at or near the top, at least, and although I don’t like the change overmuch, it could be got used to.

        I’d bet that a major aim of it is to get more visibility and engagement for a lot of the more evergreen content like gun and gear reviews.

        The new front page should place that content much higher in search engines if they’ve built it right. And the magazine-like layout should make it a lot easier for gun noobs and first-time visitors to get acquainted with the diversity of content and start consuming it (and then maybe become crusty longtimers who will cry and moan just like us the next time the site changes).

        At least, as somebody who works on websites for a living, that’s what I’m guessing is going on.

        There’s a fine balance between improvements that pull in new people and changes that alienate too many longtime power users…we’ll have to see how it plays out. If the comment section stays lively and traffic doesn’t fall off a cliff, you can probably count on living with this layout for quite a while. 🙂

        1. avatar No one of Consequence says:

          Re that last …

          I read TTAG at least as much for the comments as the article comments.

          Removing the comment count from the homepage means I have to open an article just to see if someone said something new.

          Instead I find I’m just reading it and the comments once, and then going away. Fewer page viewsz at least from me, because I don’t like having to guess if I’m wasting my time.

          But that’s just me.

      3. avatar rocketscientist says:

        agree. the “whiteout” is not comfortable on the eyes. Please make the pain stop.

  11. avatar Ungowa88 says:

    Just wanted to chime in to say, “HATE THE NEW FORMAT!”

  12. avatar Paul says:

    Get them while the getting is good. We have a majority in the Supreme Court right now. Take advantage of it. No, take FULL advantage of it. 2A proponents need to challenge every law possible before Sleepy Joe gets a chance to appoint a new justice.

  13. avatar enuf says:

    The gun in the picture is not all black. Therefore it cannot be an “assault weapon”. That colorful barrel and trigger is prima facie evidence that it is not an evil black rifle.

  14. avatar Dog of War says:

    One thing that’s been kind of simmering in the back of my mind over this new series of pro-2A arguments is the use of ‘commonly used’. I wonder if it’s a bit of a double edged sword given that it kind of lock us into another arbitrary standard. I am somewhat concerned that it could turn around and bit us if, in the future, some anti-gun administration tries to just yeet any-kind of NFA weapons.

    Of course I guess it could also be used to argue that the 2A should apply to any kind of commonly uses individual weapon by both the police and military. If THAT is the case it would mean that everyone should be able to own an M4 with a tickle-switch. 😀

  15. avatar Dave says:

    Good luck people in Maryland. As a NJ resident I get at least some sense of victory when other anti gun states get beat back in court. Though it never seems to happen here.

    1. avatar DDay says:

      The case is intended to go to SCOTUS. Kolbe is a 4th circuit case which was terribly decided (the reasoning was beyond asinine). The district court here will have no choice but to rule against SAF because the court is bound by Kolbe. The circuit court will need to do the same because it was decided en banc. So at that point SAF will appeal to SCOTUS.

      It should only be a matter of time before SCOTUS takes up a mag limit and/AWB case. Plenty of options from various circuits and now with Barrett on the court, there should be a reliable 5 2A justices

      First 2A case for SCOTUS may be a challenge to the federal ban on firearms by non violent felons. There is a case from the 3rd circuit ready to appeal to SCOTUS where a woman with a felony tax conviction just lost in the 3rd circuit. That a very similar case as Kantor Barrett was in the minority in on the 7th

  16. avatar willy says:

    Change the website back!! It’s confusing! Make it simple!

  17. avatar Dlee says:

    Ban ak47s and then anything that looks like an ar (assault rifle, not armalite rifle of course),.and then cops will ask to bring guns back when they start getting stabbed, can cops as civilians be treated to use ars which I think is completely unnecessary for 99% of situations. If they stop allowing open carry of shotguns and rifle over the shoulder pointed in the air, thats when shit is done

  18. avatar No one of Consequence says:

    I really dislike the new website format.

    Why is TTAG trying to look like a printed newspaper?

    Doesn’t work well with tablets and phones, imo; harder to go through articles chronologically; and most importantly, without a comment count on the home page it makes me open every article every time to see if new comments have been posted.

    Since comments are one of the main reasons I read TTAG … that last is a major downgrade imo. I’m generally not bothering to open articles multiple times, so you’ve actually reduced my page visits with this change.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      TTAG needs to use the “Simple Machines Forum” software. Open source, free, there’s a few forums I visit now and then that use it, works very well for all needs.

      Guess D.Z. is trying for maximum monetization here?

      Nuth’n wrong with that ….

  19. avatar Ron RayGunn says:

    The wrong spelling of the county where the lawsuit is based isn’t a good look. Anne Arundel County.

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