Last week, a federal judge overturned a ban on “assault weapons” and firearm registration requirements while upholding the constitutionality of openly carrying firearms in public.
Federal judge Ramona Manglona, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, struck down several bans related to guns.
The case that was ruled on by Manglona was brought up by Paul Murphy, “a veteran who served honorably on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Ranger, [and who filed suit] to validate his constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.”
“Murphy’s battle for justice began more than nine years ago when he first applied for and was denied possession and use of his firearms,” Manglona writes. “Plaintiff has valiantly pursued all lawful efforts to protect and defend his rights in a community where the voice of the majority can often overpower the equally important rights of the minority.”
Murphy challenged the ban on large capacity magazines, the ban on rifles of greater than .223 caliber, the ban on transporting operable firearms, the ban on “assault weapons”, the $1,000 excise tax imposed on handguns, the restrictions on how he may store his weapons at home and the requirement that he obtain a license and register his weapons.
Manglona overturned a ban on carrying handguns in public, a ban on “assault weapons”, the ban on rifles of greater than .223 caliber, a $1,000 tax on handguns, and a requirement that all guns be registered with the government.
Manglona struck down the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ (CNMI) “assault weapons ban” in regards to several rifle accessories: “(1) pistol grips that protrude beneath the action; (2) thumbhole stocks; (3) folding or telescoping stocks; (4) flare launchers; (5) flash suppressors; and (6) forward pistol grips.”
“The Commonwealth has not shown through any evidence that its means fit its end,” Manglona writes. “In fact, the evidence suggests that the banned attachments actually tend to make rifles easier to control and more accurate—making them safer to use. Because the Commonwealth’s ban does not match its legitimate and important interest, the ban fails intermediate scrutiny and will be struck down.”
“The individual right to armed self-defense in case of confrontation…cannot be regulated into oblivion,” Manglona said.