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Federal judge upholds MA assault weapons ban

Federal judge upholds MA assault weapons ban

Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal asked city staff to draft a report of a potential ban just days after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.

Congress and state and local legislatures around the country have faced mounting calls to enact similar measures in the wake of the Parkland shooting and the nationwide student-led demonstrations in support of gun control that followed.

A nationwide ban on assault-style weapons in place from 1994 to 2004 was shown to significantly reduce the number of mass shootings in America, according to research by Louis Klarevas of the University of MA.

In Vermont, a traditionally blue state with a penchant for guns and hunting, the state House of Representatives recently gave a final approval to a bill that would raise the age for purchasing a gun to 21, ban the sale of bump stocks, impose universal background checks for all gun purchases, and partially ban high-capacity magazines. "There is no place here for assault weapons".

It also takes a swing at a popular reading of the Second Amendment, stating the weapons are "not reasonably necessary to protect an individual's right of self-defense" or to preserve a well-regulated militia.

But the court a year ago turned away an appeal from Maryland gun owners who challenged the state's ban on assault weapons. Illinois-based Guns Save Life has promised to sue to stop implementation of the law, saying it violates Deerfield residents' Second Amendment rights. Young said the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was such a weapon.

Assault weapons are considered to be military firearms, U.S. District Judge William Young said in his ruling, therefore disqualifying them from being included in a citizen's right to "bear arms".

Specifically, the law bans semiautomatic rifles with a fixed magazine and a capacity to fit more than 10 rounds of ammunition, as well as shotguns with revolving cylinders, among others. The ordinance also bans certain models, including the AR-15, the AK-47 and Uzis.

Opponents of the ban said they fear Deerfield will try to outlaw other firearms. With the ban set to take effect in 60 days, advocates felt time was of the essence. He was one of more than a dozen opponents who spoke out against the ordinance, local media reported. "The fight does not end at the borders of our village".

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