Kolbe v. Hogan, Jr., No. 14-1945 (4th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit challenging Maryland's Firearm Safety Act (FSA), Md. Code, Crim. Law 4-303(a), which, among other things, 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. The court concluded that the FSA implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment and the court, pursuant to District of Columbia v. Heller, McDonald v. City of Chicago, and its own precedent, concluded the burden is substantial and strict scrutiny is the applicable standard of review for plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claim. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's denial of these claims and remanded for the district court to apply strict scrutiny. The court affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiffs' equal protection challenge to the statutory exception allowing retired law enforcement officers to possess prohibited semi-automatic rifles. Finally, the court affirmed the district court’s conclusion that the term “copies” as used by the FSA is not unconstitutionally vague.