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Another State Goes Shall-Issue

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down New York’s subjective requirements to exercise your Second Amendment rights outside the home is impacting other states that had “may-issue” licensing regimes. The latest is Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) recently ordered Maryland State Police to suspend the “good and substantial reason” standard for permits to carry concealed.

“Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits. It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols,” said Hogan in a press release.

Maryland was one of several “may-issue” states that allowed licensing officials to subjectively deny people their Second Amendment rights, which often resulted in law-abiding Americans being denied their rights.

“For far too long, Maryland has prevented the majority of law-abiding citizens from exercising this fundamental right,” reported the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “Now, MSP cannot arbitrarily deny permits to applicants who meet all objective criteria. As a result, more law-abiding citizens will be able to exercise their right-to-carry to defend themselves and their loved ones. The criminals, who have gotten used to menacing the public with impunity, will find fewer and fewer defenseless victims.”

Though Hogan’s announcement to suspend the “good and substantial reason” standard is a step in the right direction, the Maryland General Assembly will still need to permanently correct the unconstitutional provision. Even if such a legislative change is made, the state’s permitting process will continue to be much more onerous than states surrounding it; as a result, many law-abiding Marylanders will likely still be unable to acquire a permit.

Opponents of expanding concealed-carry rights contend that this change will lead to an increase in violent-crime rates, but the bulk of available data suggests otherwise. In reality, changes like these have led to a sustained reduction in crime or, at worst, nothing at all. The deliberate misinformation surrounding this issue is exactly why we detailed the statistical impact of constitutional carry here at America’s 1st Freedom.

“The data clearly show there is no statistically significant relationship between constitutional-carry laws and homicide. There was likewise no association with firearm homicide rates. The predictions of doom and gloom have not been statistically validated, at least as far as this analysis goes,” wrote Dave Kopel and Alexander Adams. “In fact, the relationship between constitutional-carry laws and homicide is negative, which is the opposite of what gun-control activists have predicted.”

For more information on applying for a Wear and Carry Permit in Maryland, click here. We’ll keep you updated on the status of concealed carry in Maryland, and all other previously “may-issue” states, moving forward.


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