Supreme Court's next big gun control case? Post-Newtown laws face new scrutiny

Andrew Turner suffers from partial paralysis in his dominant hand, the legacy of an injury to his right arm while on active duty in the Navy – which is why, according to court papers, the Maryland resident needs a semiautomatic gun to defend himself.

The state’s 2013 Firearm Safety Act, however, bars the sale of semiautomatic rifles like the popular AR-15 and AK-47, and sets a 10-round limit on magazines. The law could be at the center of the next big precedent-setting gun case if the Supreme Court takes up a challenge from Turner and others.

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this egregious decision,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. 

The Maryland law is one of a host of gun control measures passed in the wake of the 2012 Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre – and, if taken up, the case could have sweeping implications for like-minded states in the gun control debate. 

Jay Porter, an attorney for the plaintiffs, complained about a patchwork of rulings in the wake of the landmark 2008 Heller decision upholding the individual’s right to own a gun. He called on the Supreme Court to clear up the confusion. 

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