Hogan relaxes Maryland’s concealed gun rules

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday ordered his administration to relax the state’s permitting rules for carrying a concealed handgun, saying a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision makes it unconstitutional to require applicants to to show “a good and substantial reason” for seeking such permission.

In response to the Supreme Court’s June 23 ruling making it more difficult for governments to restrict the carrying of handguns outside the home, Hogan directed the Maryland State Police Department to remove the “good cause” provision in the regulations for obtaining a firearms license immediately suspend concealed carrying. Without this rule, applicants could obtain concealed carry licenses without declaring personal circumstances creating an increased need for armed self-defense.

in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen, The conservative majority of the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that New York’s concealed carry statute — which required applicants to demonstrate a “proper reason” for needing a handgun for self-defense — barred people from exercising their Second Amendment rights exercise.

“It would be unconstitutional to continue to enforce this provision in state law,” Hogan said of Maryland’s “good cause.” He said the rule was “virtually indistinguishable” from New York’s “reasonable cause” provision, which the Supreme Court found flawed. The suspension of the Maryland provision “is consistent with actions taken in other states in response to the recent ruling,” he said in a statement.

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About 39,000 concealed carry licenses have been issued in Maryland.

The Supreme Court ruling prompted New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to call a special legislative session where lawmakers passed tough new restrictions on the carrying of concealed handguns. In Maryland, Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) indicated Tuesday that lawmakers in his state would consider similar legislation.

“It angers me that we’re having conversations about the fact that people can walk around with guns on their hips and that we should be doing this in Maryland to try to reduce violence,” Ferguson said at a separate news conference. “It’s crazy. It’s crazy. We have to obey the law – and we will – but we will do everything we can to make sure Marylanders are safe.”

He later vowed in a statement that Maryland lawmakers will “pass legislation consistent with new precedent set by this Supreme Court while ensuring appropriate restrictions to protect our families and communities.”

Mark W. Pennak, president of gun rights group Maryland Shall Issue, welcomed Hogan’s “decision to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision brun,“, said in a statement, “For the first time in decades, the Second Amendment right to self-defense outside the home is being respected for ordinary, responsible, and law-abiding Maryland citizens.”

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Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore) said in a tweet, “Between now and January, the Maryland House of Delegates will explore every option to curb the proliferation of guns on the streets.” …More guns don’t make us safer.”

Hogan spokesman Michael Ricci said that on June 27, four days after the Supreme Court ruling, the Maryland State Police sought advice from state attorney general Brian E. Frosh (D) regarding the legal implications of the decision.

On June 30, Ricci said, Frosh’s office notified the state police that the “good cause” provision was unconstitutional. This required an applicant to show, for example, that they had been threatened and were in physical danger or that they were running a business that could be robbed.

Frosh’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Hogan, whose term as governor is limited and is considering running for president in 2024, has taken a cautious approach to gun policy during his tenure in Maryland, a state with some of the toughest gun control laws in the country.

That year, Hogan passed a ban on ghost guns into law without his signature. He previously signed a ban on the sale of supplies and a “red flag” law allowing judges to confiscate firearms from anyone deemed a threat to themselves or others. He has also vetoed efforts to limit who can get concealed carry permits and rejected a plan to let administrative judges decide who should get such licenses.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/07/05/maryland-handgun-rules-relaxed-hogan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_politics Hogan relaxes Maryland’s concealed gun rules

James Brien

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