Nevertheless, based upon the record as it stands, we cannot be certain whether these weapons are commonly used or are useful specifically for self-defense or hunting and therefore whether the prohibitions of certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines holding more than ten rounds meaningfully affect the right to keep and bear arms. We need not resolve that question, however, because even assuming they do impinge upon the right protected by the Second Amendment, we think intermediate scrutiny is the appropriate standard of review and the prohibitions survive that standard.
b. Intermediate scrutiny is appropriate
As we did in evaluating the constitutionality of certain of the registration requirements, we determine the appropriate standard of review by assessing how severely the prohibitions burden the Second Amendment right. Unlike the law held unconstitutional in Heller, the laws at issue here do not prohibit the possession of "the quintessential self-defense weapon," to wit, [*45] the handgun. 554 U.S. at 629. Nor does the ban on certain semi-automatic rifles prevent a person from keeping a suitable and commonly used weapon for protection in the home or for hunting, whether a handgun or a non-automatic long gun. See Gary Kleck & Marc Gertz, Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun, 86 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 150, 185 (1995) (revolvers and semi-automatic pistols are together used almost 80% of the time in incidents of self-defense with a gun); Dep't of Treasury, Study on the Sporting Suitability of Modified Semiautomatic Assault Rifles 38 (1998) (semi-automatic assault rifles studied are "not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes"). Although we cannot be confident the prohibitions impinge at all upon the core right protected by the Second Amendment, we are reasonably certain the prohibitions do not impose a substantial burden upon that right. As the District points out, the plaintiffs present hardly any evidence that semi-automatic rifles and magazines holding more than ten rounds are well-suited to or preferred for the purpose of self-defense or sport.
I guess it helps to have Cato running the show rather than the NRA if you want to see unconstitutional changes made to the Constitution.