Maryland’s new restrictions on lawful concealed carry have now been signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore, and the first lawsuits have already been filed over the new “sensitive places” and the new licensing requirements for concealed carry applicants. Moore’s spokesperson Carter Elliott IV has been doing a lot of press about the new law (and lawsuits), and during one interview with the Baltimore Sun, Elliott ended up giving the plaintiffs some new ammunition to use in their quest to bring the state in line with the Constitution and the Second Amendment’s protections.
The Sun‘s story ostensibly focused on the named plaintiff in Kipke v. Moore, Susannah Warner Kipke, who owns Mrs. Kipke’s Secure Gun Storage (love the name, by the way) and is married to Del. Nic Kipke, a state legislator from Anne Arundel County. While highlighting Kipke’s role in the lawsuit, the Sun also sought comment about the litigation from Elliott, and his response makes it clear that the intent of the legislation is to prevent as many Marylanders from exercising their right to bear arms in self-defense as possible.
“The NRA thinks more guns on the street is the solution when that is actually the problem. Everyone understands these common sense bills will protect Marylanders and protect the rights of legal gunowners,” Elliott said. “Every Marylander has the right to feel safe in their own communities, and the governor is committed to doing everything in his power to make Maryland a safer home for everyone.”
“More guns… is actually the problem.”
No, the problem is that the people of Maryland (just like the rest of “the people” in the United States) have the right to own and carry firearms for self-defense, and the lawmakers running the state don’t want them to exercise it. Elliott is as much as admitting that the goal of SB 1 and HB 824 is to prevent the exercise of a fundamental right by limiting as much as possible the number of Marylanders who can obtain a carry license.
While that particular assertion by Elliott is downright damaging to the state’s defense, his insistence that the new carry restrictions will protect the rights of legal gun owners is laughable. As Kipke and other plaintiffs argue in their lawsuit, not only are most publicly-accessible places in the state now off limits to lawful concealed carry, but anyone who even accidentally sets foot into a “gun-free zone” while carrying could face a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Mrs. Kipke frequents many of the places that Maryland law prohibits (or will prohibit once Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 824 take effect) her and other carry permit holders from carrying a handgun for self-defense. She frequently visits state parks and state forests. When traveling, she regularly stops at state highway rest areas. She drops off and picks up her children from a private school, requiring her to enter the grounds of a private primary school. She visits at least annually her physician, whose office is located in a healthcare facility. She also regularly takes her children to an amusement park and minor league baseball stadium. She also visits a racetrack annually. She visits Baltimore several times a year, where she visits the Camden Yards Sports Complex and various museums. She frequently dines at restaurants that serve alcohol for on-site consumption. Mrs. Kipke frequents these restaurants without consuming any alcohol and has no intention of carrying a firearm at any time when she may be consuming alcohol. Rather, she desires to carry a handgun in these locations while remaining a responsible, law-abiding, sober adult. She routinely visits various buildings that are owned or leased by a unit of state or local government. She also attends demonstrations in a public place (and/or in a vehicle that is within 1,000 feet of a demonstration in a public place). She also visits certain Property weekly without the express consent of the Property owner or owner’s agent to carry a handgun, including her local grocery store, drug store, and gas stations. Mrs. Kipke lawfully carries a handgun in each of the aforementioned places that Maryland does not currently prohibit ordinary, law-abiding Maryland citizens with a carry permit from carrying a handgun. She will continue to do so until Senate Bill 1 takes effect.
Maryland lawmakers have substituted their imaginary “right to feel safe” for the real and fundamental right to bear arms in self-defense, and while these infringements may be popular with many of the state’s Democratic voters, they’re no more constitutional than the residential segregation ordinances Baltimore Democrats enacted at the dawn of the 20th century in the name of “preserving peace, preventing conflict and ill feeling between the white and colored races in Baltimore city.” Far from being progressive in the literal sense of the word, Maryland’s new carry laws are a regressive attempt to turn back the clock, defy the Supreme Court, and deny peaceable Marylanders access to a basic and inherent civil right.