A federal judge in Maryland refused Monday to dismiss firearms charges against a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting a massive domestic terror attack.
Attorneys for Lt. Christopher Hasson earlier this month asked the judge to drop two charges for unlawful possession of firearm silencers.
The lawyers argued that possession of a silencer is protected under the Second Amendment because it is “indispensable” to the use of a gun.
U.S. District Judge George Hazel rejected their claim, saying silencers are not “critical” to the use of a firearm and cannot be viewed as a weapon under the Second Amendment.
“Although silencers may improve the usage of a firearm, they are not necessary and they are not therefore protected by the Second Amendment,” he wrote in an opinion released Monday.
Lt. Hasson will now stand trial next month for all four federal counts against him. In addition to the two silencer charges, he also faces one count of possession of a firearm by an unlawful drug user and possession of a controlled substance.
If convicted on all four charges, he could face up to 31 years in prison.
Prosecutors have not filed any terrorism charges against Lt. Hasson, who was arrested in February. But court documents describe him as a white supremacist who plotted a “massive” terror attack to ignite a race war.
Lt. Hasson was stockpiling weapons and authored a manifesto in which he openly wrote about ways “to kill every last person on earth,” prosecutors say.
His trial is scheduled to start Oct. 21.
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