Maryland’s top attorney is defending Vermont’s ability to ban high capacity ammunition magazines, joining a coalition of 18 attorneys general in a court document filed Oct. 15.
Attorney General Brian Frosh joined the coalition in an amicus brief filed in the Vermont Supreme Court, writing that Vermont should be allowed to ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns.
“Well-reasoned decisions from a number of federal courts of appeals establish that reasonable restrictions on large-capacity magazines are fully compatible with the right to bear arms,” the brief reads.
Vermont prohibited the manufacturing and sale of such magazines in 2018 amid a number of firearm-related bills, as the Burlington Free Press reported Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed into law legislation that would also require background checks for nearly all private gun sales as well as require anyone under the age of 21 to complete a hunter safety course before purchasing a firearm.
Gun rights groups have fought the magazine restriction legislation, pushing the issue to the state’s Supreme Court.
In a statement, Frosh said he’s joining the coalition because the magazines “have one purpose — to kill as many people as possible, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of effort by the shooter.”
“Restricting or banning these types of magazines is a common-sense approach to curbing this violence and, as federal courts have found over and over, does not violated the Constitution,” he wrote.
Maryland passed a law in 2013 that makes it illegal to sell, manufacture or purchase magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. However, it remains legal to possess such magazines so long as they were purchased out of state.
Frosh is joined in the Vermont amicus brief by attorneys general from nearly all of Maryland’s surrounding states, as the top attorneys for Delaware, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania also signed onto the brief.