Maryland complies with Bruen decision

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The state of Maryland isn’t known for any pro-gun sentiment. Like a lot of states, it’s dominated by anti-gun urban centers – namely Baltimore.

As such, you just have to know the powers that be were less than thrilled with the Bruen decision. Maryland was one of those states where it was difficult to get a concealed carry permit.

Now, the governor has brought the state into compliance with the decision.

Firearms enthusiasts had already been flocking to Maryland gun shops and shooting ranges since the June 23 Supreme Court decision making it easier to obtain and carry a concealed weapon. But demand surged last week after Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued an order bringing the state in line with the ruling.

Customers — ranging from the curious to seasoned gun owners long frustrated by Maryland’s strict stance on carrying firearms — have been calling and visiting gun shops in search of small, easily hidden handguns, firearms dealers said. State-mandated training classes have been booked well in advance, and instructors are sometimes in short supply. The Maryland State Police has received eleven times the usual number of new permit applications since the court struck down state provisions requiring gun owners to demonstrate a special need for carrying a firearm for self-defense.

“It’s something that in Maryland, I know you had to have a pretty damn good reason to have concealed carry,” said Tom O’Malley, 27, who dropped by the Gun Shack/Crosswind store in Mount Airy this week with his wife.

O’Malley, who lives in the town, said he wanted a handgun for extra security while doing his auto repair business through Facebook Marketplace. His wife, Kelsey, 26, has been thinking about carrying, too, since a bunch of creepy guys followed her around one night while she was shopping. Packing only pepper spray for self-defense didn’t seem to cut it, she said.

“It’s scary when you’re by yourself and you’re a young female,” she said.

Luckily, it doesn’t matter anymore.

Maryland is now essentially shall-issue, just like everywhere else in the country. That means people like Kelsey O’Malley don’t have to fear for their life if creepy guys start following her. She’ll have the means to defend herself from them if they do more than just follow her around a bit.

I won’t necessarily applaud Hogan for his actions, mostly because he didn’t really have a choice. However, he did make the required move, and I’m glad he did. There are those out there who are basically willing to challenge the Supreme Court on something like this.

What should be interesting to see is the violent crime rate in Baltimore over the next few years. I suspect it will start dropping in short order, especially when some bad guys start ending up shot by law-abiding citizens lawfully carrying firearms.

That’ll be a wakeup for the criminal population, and they’ll likely divert their attention to something else. It may be property crime rather than living the straight and narrow, but that’s still ultimately a win since people don’t get killed in property crime.

I can’t applaud Hogan for doing something he had no choice in, but I can applaud the fact that folks in Maryland just got a whole lot safer.