Maryland lawmakers last-minute carry bills defy SCOTUS and the Second Amendment

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Maryland lawmakers are giving a giant middle finger to the Supreme Court and peaceable gun owners across the state with the passage of HB 824 and SB 1; two pieces of legislation that will make it more expensive to lawfully bear arms while imposing a host of new restrictions that are designed to prevent people from doing so even if they can afford the excessive fees.


The two bills are expected to be signed into law by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore in short order, and Second Amendment organizations like Maryland Shall Issue are already vowing to take on the new infringements in court.

It’s beyond disappointing to see the partisan votes to restrict the right to carry, especially given that some House Democrats were vocal in their criticisms of SB 1, which not only imposes a number of new “sensitive places” off-limits to lawful carry, but increases the penalties for those caught carrying without a license as well. Del. Caylin Young, who represents a portion of the city of Baltimore, ended up voting for SB 1 even though he raised some valid objections about how these new restrictions are going to work in the real world.

“Help me explain to that father…. why he can’t walk to the supermarket or to the corner store past people with ghost guns who mean him harm. How do I explain to him that he can’t walk into that store? Help me understand why those who live in a war zone are going to feel safer. When we’re talking about gun violence we’re talking about my district.”


Young went on to say that “this bill should pass because there are good portions of it,” but added “when we talk about restricting individuals from being able to walk into businesses we’re talking about restricting the people in my district who are law-abiding, who live in crime-infested communities, who have to walk past ghost guns.”

After comments like that you’d think that would have been enough for Young to take a pass on SB 1 instead of voting to enshrine it into law, but ultimately Young voted to tell that father in Baltimore that, yes, because businesses will be forced to default to a “no-guns allowed” position under the new law, he’ll likely be committing a crime if he brings his lawfully-owned firearm with him as he goes about his daily routine.

Young certainly doesn’t seem to think that the new restrictions are going to have any kind of impact on those individuals who are illegally carrying “ghost guns” or other illictly obtained firearms. In fact, he appears to recognize that the true effects of SB 1 and HB 824 will be felt by peaceable, responsible gun owners and not the violent criminals who are turning his district into a war zone.


These blatant attempts to infringe on the fundamental rights of Maryland residents deserve to be challenged in court, and I’m looking forward to Maryland Shall Issue and other 2A groups bringing their arguments before the federal judiciary. With more than 80,000 concealed carry holders now licensed in Maryland (about an eightfold increase from just a couple of years ago) there are plenty of potential plaintiffs to be found, and almost all of them will be able to point to the genuine harm they’ll suffer as a result of the state’s repression of their right to armed self-defense.

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