Second Amendment advocates were thrilled last month when a federal judge struck down a Maryland state law requiring concealed carry applicants to provide a “good and substantial reason” to carry a firearm.
However, their excitement didn’t last long.
Two weeks after the gun ruling was handed down, a federal appeals court delayed its implementation, which was supposed to happen on August 7.
A 2010 Christian Science Monitor article listed Maryland as one of the top ten states with the strictest gun laws. The state does not require a permit to purchase or carry rifles and shotguns, and owners of rifles and shotguns are not required to register their firearms. But handguns must be registered with the state, and handgun owners can only carry with a permit approved by the Secretary of State Police. Maryland strictly regulates the sale, transfer, rent, and possession of handguns and assault weapons.
The state of Maryland does not have a constitutional provision granting a right to bear arms.
Daniel Vice, a senior attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, applauded the appeals court’s decision to delay the case: “We’ve seen a huge outcry from the public demanding common sense gun laws.”
The case, brought forth by The Second Amendment Foundation in 2010, transpired when Hampstead resident Raymond Woollard applied for a handgun permit after encountering an intruder in his home in 2002. When Woollard tried to renew the permit in 2009, the state denied his request because he couldn’t show “good and substantial reason” as Maryland state law requires.
My take: When it comes to the Second Amendment, should citizens have the burden of proof? The U.S. Constitution – the “supreme law of the land” – affirms that Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, but in Maryland and many other states, people must prove why they should be allowed that right.
The appeals court will hear arguments at the end of October.