44 U. Balt. L.F. 75 (2013-2014)
The Firearms Safety Act and the Future of Second Amendment Debate

handle is hein.journals/ublfo44 and id is 79 raw text is: ARTICLE
By: Dominic Lamartina
T he Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers the right of the
people to keep and bear arms.' By itself, this is a vague standard that
many contest to this day.2 In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court was tasked with
defining the breadth of the Second Amendment as it relates to government
attempts to limit access to firearms.3 The District of Columbia v. Heller
decision was one that crafted an individual right for American citizens to
possess firearms protected under the Second Amendment.4 In the aftermath
of Heller, and in response to recent mass shootings such as the ones carried
out in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, many states now
struggle to find a balance between the benefits of public safety with more
strict legislation and the difficulties of potentially taking away the liberties of
its citizenry.5
Maryland is no exception. On May 16, 2013 Governor Martin O'Malley
signed the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 into law.6 This law creates new
restrictions devised to promote public safety in the State of Maryland by
limiting gun access.7 The law adds forty-five new weapons to a list of
banned weapons in Maryland.8 Another major regulation outlaws handgun
magazines that hold more than ten rounds.9 Finally, the State crafted a new
licensing system for prospective handgun buyers.'
This article will address these controversial issues in the framework of
Constitutional challenges. The discussion section will lay out the arguments,
'District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 579, 581 (2008).
2 See id.
3 See id.
4 See id. at 635-36.
5 See Governor O'Malley Signs Historic Firearms Safety Act, MARYLANDERS TO
PREVENT GuN VIOLENCE (May 16, 2013),
6 id.
8 S.B. 281, 2013 Leg., 430th Sess. (Md. 2013). However, there is a clause allowing
individuals who have already purchased one of these items, or did so before the
October 1 deadline, to keep their weapons.

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