Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown on Tuesday asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to rehear a case in which a panel of three judges ruled that a law requiring handgun buyers to get a license is unconstitutional.

“The Second Amendment does not prohibit states from enacting common-sense gun laws like Maryland’s handgun licensing law,” said Brown, a Democrat, in a statement. “My office will continue to defend laws that are designed to protect Marylanders from gun violence.”

In response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Maryland lawmakers passed a gun control measure in 2013 that required people purchasing a handgun to first get a handgun qualification license, which involves submitting fingerprints, completing a firearms safety training course and filling out an application.

In a 2-1 decision on Nov. 21, Judge Julius N. Richardson cited a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case from 2022 called New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which held that a firearms regulation is unconstitutional unless the government can show it is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition.

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“The challenged law restricts the ability of law-abiding adult citizens to possess handguns, and the state has not presented a historical analogue that justifies its restriction; indeed, it has seemingly admitted that it couldn’t find one,” Richardson wrote. “Under the Supreme Court’s new burden-shifting test for these claims, Maryland’s law thus fails, and we must enjoin its enforcement.”

Judge G. Steven Agee joined the majority opinion. But Senior Judge Barbara Milano Keenan wrote a dissenting opinion in which she described the position that the other two members of panel took as a “hyperaggressive view of the Second Amendment.”

In the petition, Assistant Attorneys General Ryan Dietrich and Robert Scott quoted from the dissenting opinion and warned that the analysis from the majority has “far-reaching implications.”

Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, said after that ruling that he would “continue to fight for this law.”

Maryland Shall Issue, an organization that seeks to preserve and advance the rights of gun owners, was among those who sued in 2016 over the measure.

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The requirement to obtain a handgun qualification remains in effect.

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