Maryland Signs New Laws on Concealed Carry, Handguns
In response to a US Supreme Court ruling last June that limited the power of states to restrict the concealed carrying of firearms, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, signed into law Tuesday new restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms in the state and handgun licensing.
- In response to a US Supreme Court ruling last June that limited the power of states to restrict the concealed carrying of firearms, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a Democrat, signed into law Tuesday new restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms in the state and handgun licensing. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has already sued to block the law.1
- The law prohibits guns from being carried in schools, hospitals, government buildings, stadiums, and places where alcohol is served, as well as on private property without permission. It also removes the previous requirement of showing "good and substantial reason" to carry concealed guns outside of the home, language that was struck down by SCOTUS.2
- A separate measure amends the state procedure for issuing handgun licenses, raising the minimum age from 18 to 21, and prohibits individuals with substantial histories of mental illness and violent behavior, as well as those on probation or with protective orders against them, from applying for licenses.3
- At the bill signing, Moore stated that "gun violence is tearing apart the fabric of our communities," reiterating that his government will "refuse" to back down on its gun control agenda.4
- The NRA called the measures "illegal under the U.S. Constitution." This comes as SCOTUS has affirmed the right to carry firearms for self-defense outside of the home.5
- Since SCOTUS's New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen ruling, approvals for concealed carry permits in Maryland has skyrocketed. Gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety highlights Maryland as a state with above-average gun deaths despite stringent gun control legislation.1
Sources: 1Washington Post, 2Al Jazeera, 3Associated Press, 4CBS, and 5FOX News.
- Republican narrative, as provided by Bearing Arms. This is not a Maryland problem but rather a Baltimore problem. Despite the state's existing age restrictions on gun ownership, male juveniles have wreaked havoc on the city, making it one of the most dangerous in the country. Maryland also has some of the strictest background checks in the nation, but that, too, has not led to fewer crimes. The real issue here is violent young criminals. Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens won't do anything to stop that.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by AFJ. A conservative activist Supreme Court has expanded gun rights to an unprecedented extent, forcing states to try and find workable solutions to the gun crisis in the US. A torrent of legal cases in the wake of the Bruen ruling has upended gun control as we know it, undoing decades of progress on gun control amid an epidemic of violence and mass shootings. Maryland should be applauded for trying to find a path forward to keep Americans safe.