Maryland Now Issues: A Victory for The Second AmendmentEconomy Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
In July, Maryland gun right advocates won a decisive victory when a US District Court Judge struck down the long standing “good and substantial” reason clause required for the issue of gun permits. The decision, which effectively switched Maryland from a “may issue” to a “shall issue” policy in line with most of the nation, was given in a trial started by a Mr. Raymond Woollard. Woollard had been denied a renewal of his carry permit after authorities decided that his initial cause for applying, a threat posed by a family member no longer constituted enough reason for renewal on grounds of personal safety.
2nd Ammendment Concerns
As both gun rights and domestic violence are issues of significant importance to myself I cannot stress enough the significance of this decision. Maryland is one of the US states with the strictest anti-gun policies in the country. Laws are so restrictive that it is illegal to have a gun about your person or in your car, or in a bag you are carrying even if the gun is legally owned. The right to bear arms for personal protection is limited to your private home or in the case of shop owners or their employees, to your place of business. Oftentimes, prospective gun buyers were advised to discuss any intended purchases with their Maryland gun lawyer or an advocacy group beforehand just to know what they were getting into.
And yet Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in the country and as the recent Labor day week-end has shown, even if the police statistics keep telling us that gun violence is down weapons are readily available to criminals who do not have to present a “good and substantial” reason in order to procure a weapon nor do they have to keep the weapon only in their homes.
With the switch to a “shall issue” policy, Maryland has taken its first step towards more sensible gun regulation. Up until recently, government statistics pointed out that only 2% of carry permits were issued for personal safety reasons with an additional 35% going to property defense (Shopkeepers and employees). The vast majority of handgun permits were issued to police officers (active duty and retired), correctional staff and judicial employees. Perhaps the Woollard decision will change the numbers but prospects are grim: another legal proposal would force prospective gun owners to attend a course in the “proper operation” of each specific gun they intend to buy, a preposterous proposal that is nonetheless proof that Maryland isn’t even close to becoming a gun-