Legal expert weighs in on Maryland lawsuit

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland is fairly new to the job, but he’s going to sign a lot of bills over his four years. The ramifications of some of those signatures may well take years to develop.


But one signature granted him the ability to see an instant reaction.

When he signed a bill that heavily restricted concealed carry, he was met with not just one but two lawsuits almost immediately.

The NRA filed suit, as did the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearm Policy Coalition, which filed a joint lawsuit.

CBS News decided to talk to a legal expert to get his take on the lawsuits.

Adam Ruther, a legal expert, said that this lawsuit is about whether or not Maryland’s new gun laws cross the line and place unconstitutional restrictions on a constitutionally protected right.

“If you accept the idea that you don’t need to state reasons in order to exercise a constitutional right, then the other questions immediately come,” Ruther said. “What restrictions can be placed on that constitutional right?”

In a statement to WJZ, Gov. Moore’s press secretary said, in part, “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 gun owners.”

Just going to break in and not that no, “everyone” doesn’t understand any such thing. Many of us get that criminals will continue to break these laws and that law-abiding citizens will simply be too disarmed to respond if threatened.


Moving on.

“The question of whether it’s appropriate for the state to say you can have your right to carry a concealed firearm, but you’re not allowed to do it in so many places that the right essentially doesn’t exist, that’s a question that the federal court is going to have to deal with,” Ruther said.

This is basically what was laid out in Bruen when Justice Clarence Thomas warned New York that they couldn’t declare the entire island of Manhattan an off-limits area.

While that’s not technically what Maryland does with this bill, nor what places like New York and New Jersey have already done, it sort of is. Sure, you can walk down the street in most places without an issue, but you can’t actually go anywhere, and that’s a problem.

Meanwhile, criminals will carry anywhere they damn well please that doesn’t have some kind of physical barrier to prevent them from doing it, like metal detectors. Even then, some will slip through, but that’s about the only thing you can do to hit the bad guys and most places aren’t doing that.

I’m not the only one who says so, either.

“Maryland previously had one of the most restrictive wear and carry permit schemes in the country,” D.J. Spiker, NRA-ILA Maryland state director, said. “Now, in order to carry legally, Marylanders have to go through a process that’s somehow more burdensome, lengthy and expensive to get a permit, yet effectively doesn’t allow them to carry anywhere in the state. The NRA is suing because this is illegal under the U.S. Constitution, but it’s also important to note these laws defy common sense. You know who isn’t going to do all of this to get a permit? And who isn’t going to worry about where it’s legal to carry? Criminals. This law will only prevent law-abiding people from exercising their rights.”


You don’t have to be a Second Amendment attorney or NRA lobbyist to know that the Maryland bill is going way too far. You just have to ask if we’d any other right with the same contempt Maryland Democrats have displayed towards our right to keep and bear arms.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member