Maryland Handgun Permit Restrictions Found Unconstitutional by Federal Judge.
details from the Associated Press:
Maryland’s requirement that residents show a “good and
substantial reason” to get a handgun permit is unconstitutional,
according to a federal judge’s opinion filed Monday.
States can channel the way their residents exercise their Second
Amendment right to bear arms, but because Maryland’s goal was to
minimize the number of firearms carried outside homes by limiting
the privilege to those who could demonstrate “good reason,” it had
turned into a rationing system, infringing upon residents’ rights,
U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg wrote.
“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial
reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” he
wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”
Plaintiff Raymond Woollard obtained a handgun permit after
fighting with an intruder in his Hampstead home in 2002, but was
denied a renewal in 2009 because he could not show he had been
subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.”
Woollard appealed, but was rejected by the review board, which
found he hadn’t demonstrated a “good and substantial reason” to
carry a handgun as a reasonable precaution. The suit filed in 2010
claimed that Maryland didn’t have a reason to deny the renewal and
wrongly put the burden on Woollard to show why he still needed to
carry a gun.
The Second Amendment Foundation
sponsored the suit, and Woollard’s lawyer was Second Amendment
vindicator Alan Gura, who also won the
suits at the Supreme Court that established our right to own
commonly used weapons for self-defense in the home, against both
federal and state encroachment. By moving the Second Amendment
argument here beyond the home, this case promises to help expand
Second Amendment rights even beyond the Heller and
My July 2009
interview with Gura. My 2008 book on the Heller case,
Gun Control on Trial.
UPDATE: Thanks commenter Chris Brennan:
The full decision.
[Hit and Run]
It will be interesting to see where this goes (if anywhere) as California has roughly the same law. In practice, “good and substantial reason” is a euphemism for “rich and/or powerful.” For example, some years ago I was told that I could get a concealed weapon permit in Orange County for a $15,000
bribe “campaign contribution”–certainly not a sum that an ordinary person stuck living in a high-crime neighborhood could readily afford. Ironically, that price was too low, and that sheriff was ejected from office for it.
The good news for us peasants is that the government seems to have finally caught on that they really don’t need to worry about an armed citizenry demonstrating the purpose of the Second Amendment, for the reason I quoted a few years ago, but it is a good way to lose the next election. While elections are meaningless in terms of their impact on the government, they do matter to the individual politician who losses his place on the gravy train.