Maryland Residents Challenge the 4th Circuit’s Kolbe v. Hogan Ruling

People holding signs that read "no guns"

In April 2013, Maryland passed the Firearm Safety Act (FSA). Among other things, the FSA bans law-abiding citizens, with the exception of retired law enforcement officers, from possessing the vast majority of semi-automatic rifles commonly kept by several million American citizens for defending their families and homes and other lawful purposes. In truth, the law went so far as to ban 45 types of so-called assault weapons and limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. People holding signs that read "no guns" Earlier this year, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law and ruled against the pro Second Amendment forces in Kolbe v. Hogan. However, Kolbe v. Hogan is a direct contradiction of the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller. The Heller decision, of course, famously re-affirmed American citizens’ right to self-defense.

Fortunately, the good citizens of Maryland are not done with the fight. In fact a group of citizens, with the support of the National Rifle Association, filed a petition to the United States Supreme Court on Friday seeking to reverse the Court of Appeals’ ruling.

“Lower courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment for too long, and the Kolbe decision crossed yet another line,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The popular rifles and standard magazines banned in Maryland are some of the best tools for self-defense. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this egregious decision.” The petition asks the Supreme Court to confirm that its ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller protects the most popular semiautomatic rifles and magazines.

The 4th Circuit has gone further than any other court in attacking Second Amendment freedoms with this ruling by holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to common firearms and magazines. Fortunately, the NRA is pledging its full support, perhaps other pro Second Amendment groups will follow if they have not already.

“Maryland’s ban on commonly owned rifles and magazines is unconstitutional. The National Rifle Association will continue to fight for all Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”

Do you think the lower courts are overstepping their authority and issuing rulings contrary to the Supreme Court’s Heller decision? Will the residents and the NRA be successful? Share your answers and opinions in the comment section.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (22)

  1. While I do not wish death on many people, justice Ginsburg is obviously not well and her retiring for her health would be for the good of the country.

  2. Now is not the best time to get a gun case before the Supreme Court
    While Gorsuch is solidly pro 2nd amendment, the court is now evenly split between liberals and conservatives
    It would be wise to wait until President Trump appoints another reliable conservative to the court before we ask for a gun rights ruling
    It will be very soon as justice Ginsburg is very old and will likely die soon

  3. I have followed many “Shooter’s Log” articles. The author’s message was quite easy to follow and let’s all support the 2nd Amendment folks in Maryland. Apparently, less than perfect spelling, sentence structure and punctuation in an article overwhelms the “common sense challenged”. Lighten up citizens and focus on the message here.

  4. Miller vs. the United States resulted in a stare decisis ruling that said the standard for firearms owned by citizens will be military firearms both past and present. Heller reaffirms Miller and the Maryland appellate court has violated both rulings. The Supreme Court should hear this case and reject the Maryland Courts rulings.

  5. Major misprint……”fortunately, the good citizens of Maryland are”” NOT”” done with the fight”. How does that get past the editor. C’mon man!

    1. It happens all the time. I think they may be in between editors for about a year they way i have been reading a lot of misprints

  6. What about the 9th circus court of schlameals? They are as bad as, if not worse than the 4th. And what about California’s anti-gun laws? Another case of the liberals getting to o what they want without regar for the rule of law (Second Amendment).

  7. Another non-article by Mr Dolbee. For the life of me I don’t see the value of many of Mr Dolbee’s “articles.” Anyone can pull some text from the AP or an NRA press release. How about some added details and opinion? For myself, I would have been happy just with the inclusion of what commonly used firearms and magazines the circuit court has banned in contravention of the Heller ruling from SCOTUS.

    For the record, other than these articles on The Shooters Log I know nothing about Mr Dolbee.

    1. Unfortunately, I have very little latitude when it comes to personal opinions. The company does not allow it. There is simply too much liability if I were to write something on the Shooter’s Log and customers or industry partners reflected that against Cheaper Than Dirt! As a result, I am only allowed to put the information on the blog and allow the readers to express their opinions. Trust me, I would rather be very vocal.

      Also, please note, there are stories that come to me from a variety of sources. Some are directed to me by management, other from people in the industry. When I post a release from a manufacturer or another organization from the industry such as the NRA, my name is merely the default unless I pick something such as CTD Blogger.

      However, I will make you the same offer as I have others. If you are interested in writing an article for The Shooter’s Log and putting your name out there, I am always interested in taking a look and not very hard to find… ~Dave Dolbee

    2. Jason Blankovich,

      As a longtime reader of The Shooter’s Log I can say your attack is as unwarranted as it is wrong.

      Much of The Shooter’s Log content serves as an update to its previous articles that already did offer the information you claim to be missing; hence the word “Log” in the name.

      Most logical people understand a “Log” serves as a chronological record of events which gets updated. And while The Shooter’s Log authors are great at this (namely Dave Dolbee), there simply isn’t enough room in each article to rehash the old information that you missed just to pamper your deficit. So try to keep up.

      Your inappropriate temper tantrum aside, I encourage you to strive to achieve a better understanding of the intended purpose of The Shooter’s Log, especially given it was never intended to be your solitary source in legislative news .

      Keeping us updated on pending gun legislation is only one aspect, but The Shooter’s Log also offers expert advice on new technology, firearms, recall alerts, shooting techniques, competitions, bow hunting, camping, survival skills, emergency prep, safety… the list goes on and on.

      In addition to all that, it offers a forum which encourages the further exchange of ideas and training. Those opinions you crave, but which are not allowed by neutral authors, most often are still overwhelmingly covered as contributions by other experts in separate articles and by commentators in the forum below.

      One last thing, I also subscribe to other electronic periodicals that do nothing but cover legislative gun news, and yet The Shooter’s Log still manages to beat them to press. If I feel the need to know more than this Forum has to offer me I simply research it on my own; but I still appreciate The Shooter’s Log for tipping me off on the topic sooner than most others can.

  8. Au contraire, it sounds to me as if the good citizens are NOT done with the good fight.

    Good for them. I am tired of modifying my EBR every year or two to satisfy the stupidity of Californian legislators. Hopefully any ruling on Maryland’s law reflects favorably on ours.

  9. Sadly, the Supreme Court has exhibited a lack of intestinal fortitude for fighting to protect the most important of our rights among the ten we know as the Bill of Rights. I’m reminded of this every time my background is checked when I legally purchase a firearm, or I need a “permit” to carry my handgun concealed. The Founders would be aghast that I must go, hat in hand, seeking permission to avail myself of a right already guaranteed by the US Constitution. From the same motley crew that Amendment is intended to protect me against should they become tyrannical by the way.

    1. Yo, Ted. Anyone reading the article fully can see that “Fortunately, the good citizens of Maryland are done with the fight.” is a typo, since the article continues with immediate plans the citizens have for future actions.

  10. I certainly hope and pray that the lower court rulings will be set aside. Many here in Ca have been waiting for the Republicans in federal control to do something about the 9th district rulings. The fifty states have to stand together and have similar laws. The local laws must be dropped, getting arrested in a city of drive through county for mere possasion of firearms that are legle in other parts of the state is no better than intrapment.

  11. ” The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it. ” – Thomas Jefferson

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