Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement in reaction to yesterday’s 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding Maryland’s assault weapons ban:

“The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, yesterday upheld Maryland’s ban on assault weapons—enacted in the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This ruling is hugely consequential.

“The ruling affirms that Second Amendment rights are not unlimited, and that weapons of war like the AR-15—the gun used in mass shootings in Newtown, San Bernardino and Aurora—are not covered.

“The court’s ruling is significant because it painstakingly applied the Supreme Court’s holding in Heller to the specifics of the Maryland ban.

“The Supreme Court in Heller said that the Second Amendment did not protect ‘weapons that are most useful in military service.’ The 4th Circuit detailed the history of assault weapons—their use in mass shootings and attacks against police officers—and the direct line from military weapons to assault weapons. 

“The 4th Circuit’s full panel of judges faithfully followed precedent and found that it had ‘no power to extend Second Amendment protection to weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from coverage.’   

“Yesterday’s ruling may lead to the political breakthrough we need to limit military-style assault weapons and keep communities safe.”