Gun control groups argue for assault weapons ban

      Photo: The Associated Press

      BALTIMORE (AP) - Two gun-control advocacy groups have filed legal arguments in support of the Firearms Safety Act passed last year. Gun rights activists are trying to overturn the law.

      In one document filed Friday in federal court in Baltimore, lawyers argue that semiautomatic "assault weapons" fall outside Second Amendment protections because they're almost as rare as machineguns, and their pistol grips, barrel shrouds and conduciveness to high-capacity magazines make them equally dangerous.

      Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence filed this brief. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence filed the other.

      The Firearms Safety Act adds 45 guns to a list of illegal assault weapons and prohibits handgun magazines with more than 10 rounds.

      Among the gun activists' arguments, they say limiting the magazine size can inhibit a weapon's effectiveness.