A federal court recently ruled that assault weapons — dangerous semi-automatic firearms — are in such “common use” that owning them is a “fundamental right.”

It’s absolute lunacy.

Based on data compiled by Bloomberg, firearm fatalities could soon exceed traffic fatalities for the first time in history.

So in a bizarre ruling, a three-judge federal panel feels that Maryland residents should be allowed to carry around assault rifles like backpacks.

We can’t imagine, in what state, how this ruling makes sense.

A panel of judges on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in its recent ruling said, “In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment, the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”

It’s an incomprehensible decision that could force the Supreme Court to rule on whether the firearms are legal under Maryland gun reform law. 

Do these Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals judges have a collective conscious? And do they remember Sandy Hook? The legislation was passed following the Sandy Hook massacre which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. The shooter, Adam Lanza, used an AR-15-style semi-automatic assault rifle.

Perhaps the lives of more young Black men in Baltimore could be saved if assault-semi-automatic- weapons were not so accessible.  Homicide is far and away the leading cause of death for young Black men, more than car accidents, suicide and diseases combined, according to studies.

In 2013, then-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the Firearm’s Safety Act, which banned assault weapons and required all gun buyers to submit digital fingerprints to the police.

The law, according to news reports, was signed in conjunction with similar gun reform laws in Connecticut and New York, following the Newtown shooting–federal appellate courts upheld those laws.

In a 2-1 decision, the federal circuit court upheld the portion of the law which would require fingerprinting in states like New York, but sent back pieces of the law that would ban assault weapons.

“Assault weapons are not included under the right to bear owns,” Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, told the New York Daily News. “Are bazookas? Are tanks? Are machine guns? Of course not.”

We’re pleased that saner minds will prevail.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said he may take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We’re confident that ultimately our law will be held constitutional,”  Frosh told reporters.  “They’ve been the weapon of choice for mass murderers.  “They’re not useful for self-defense. They just don’t need to be in every household in the United States.”

We agree with Mr. Frosh and we’re pleased that someone of Mr. Frosh’s stature is will indeed challenge this absurd and hazardous ruling.