The state of Maryland, particularly in Baltimore, has a major crime problem. It’s ugly and everyone knows it. Maybe not as bad as, say, Chicago, but that’s damning with faint praise.
Concealed carry could help a lot with that. Unfortunately, Maryland lawmakers aren’t big fans of the right to keep and bear arms.
Following Bruen, they did like a lot of anti-gun states and started trying to create the most restrictive scheme that would at least sort of look like they were listening to the Supreme Court.
If you squinted.
And, unsurprisingly, it got challenged by the Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, and others. Now the fight is ongoing and the SAF just filed a brief.
The lawsuit focuses on SB1, a bill signed by Gov. Wesley Moore, which has added new restrictions on where legally-licensed citizens may carry firearms for personal protection. Maryland is attempting to wildly expand so-called “sensitive places” in an attempt to virtually prohibit lawful, licensed concealed carry in almost every venue in the state outside of someone’s home or business.
“As we maintained in our initial lawsuit, the State of Maryland is desperately trying to justify its extremist policy by offering alleged historical analogues that don’t really exist,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As we noted earlier, instead of trying to comply with the new guidelines set down in the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling last year, Maryland lawmakers responded by adopting gun laws more restrictive than they were before. This is tantrum-level stubbornness usually confined to elementary school playgrounds, and it doesn’t belong in state legislatures or governors’ offices.”
“Today’s brief further underscores the fact that Maryland’s recently enacted restrictions on carry are incompatible with this nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “In defense of its law, Maryland grasps at straws and reasoning well removed from a logical pathway to justify its new existence. Our brief systemically refutes the positions put forth by the government and demonstrates that the challenged restrictions are constitutionally impermissible.”
That last paragraph is key here. Particularly the first sentence.
Bruen established a text, history, and tradition standard in Bruen. Maryland’s concealed carry law is nothing more than a middle finger to all three of those.
Of course, Maryland isn’t the only one with such restrictions on the books. Numerous states such as New York, New Jersey, and California have also joined in the fun, and all are being challenged just the same.
The question then becomes just how long before these are all struck down.
It’s not “if” they’re struck down, really, but when. The truth is that the history, text, and tradition aren’t there for any of these restrictions, so they jump up on the idea that they can apparently fabricate their history, trusting that the judges aren’t trained historians–an issue many brought up as one criticism of Bruen.
If that’s the case, then the state of Maryland is even more screwed up than I originally imagined.
Editor’s Note: Check out the SAF reply brief in its entirety here.