Maryland Doubles Number Of Gun Licenses Issued

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

I don’t like gun licenses. I find them to be awfully tyrannical. After all, the idea that you should need to get permission from the government in order to exercise a basic human right can’t really be interpreted as anything other than tyrannical. The difference between me and some people is I see it as such about every right while some are perfectly content to throw some rights out with the trash.


The state of Maryland, however, thinks they’re just swell, apparently. It hasn’t made Baltimore any safer, mind you, but they still think they’re just fine.

Of course, it’s not stopping people from wanting guns.

 From 2019 to 2020, the number of approved applications for Maryland civilians licensed to buy or own a regulated firearm more than doubled, according to data obtained from a public records request.

In 2019, 47,093 requests were approved for civilians in the state. That number rose to 95,502 in 2020.

“If you look at the numbers over time, you can see how dramatic the rise has been with a big spike this last year,” Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, told Capital News Service.

“It exceeds the population growth of Maryland substantially,” he added.

A regulated firearm is considered a handgun, but a lower receiver — the part of a rifle that is serialized — also is regulated.

Based on data from the Maryland State Police, the number of civilian applications approved rose in all 24 jurisdictions.

Of course, demand for firearms skyrocketed in 2020 as people were concerned first about the coronavirus and then potential economic ramifications. That was followed by a summer of burning cities following the death of George Floyd.


In fact, the big surprise isn’t that people bought guns. It’s that some people didn’t want to buy guns.

For what it’s worth, Maryland’s licensing system didn’t stop a lot of people from seeking out firearms. What it did do, however, is delay law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. How many lives were at risk or even lost while people waited for permission to protect themselves?

That’s really what gun licensing does. It creates a delay in allowing law-abiding citizens to do what they can do almost instantly anywhere else.

Now, that may not sound like much, but what if you were worrying about a stalker? What if someone specifically told you they were going to kill you? Would that delay matter to you then?

It sure as hell would bother me.

Our rights shouldn’t be up for discussion or delay. Neither should our safety. Gun licensing requirements do both, though. Plus, as we see in Baltimore, they do absolutely nothing to make communities safer from violent criminals.

It’s well past time to scrap these archaic ideas of totalitarianism and embrace the fact that they’re not only authoritarian, but they just simply don’t work. If you want to address violent crime, there are better ways. The thing is, officials have to actually work rather than playing into a hysteria that makes life easier for them but accomplishes nothing.


Ending gun licensing, however, would allow Maryland residents to assert their own personal safety without the delays, which might actually tell the criminals to knock off their foolishness.

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