- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Gansler to defend Maryland’s concealed-carry gun law
Attorney general appeals federal court’s ruling
A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of Maryland’s controversial requirement that legal gun owners have a “good and substantial reason” to carry concealed weapons.
Current state law requires residents to provide reasons they need to carry concealed handguns when applying for permits. Based on those reasons, permits can be denied.
The federal court struck down the law in March, ruling it violated the Second Amendment. Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has appealed the ruling, which will be argued before the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.
The law was challenged by Baltimore County resident Raymond Woollard who received a gun permit in 2003, months after a home break-in that led to an armed altercation.
Mr. Woollard successfully renewed the permit in 2006, but his 2009 renewal application was denied by Maryland State Police and the state’s Handgun Permit Review Board on the grounds that he could not provide documents to “verify threats occurring beyond his residence.”
His lawsuit, filed in 2010 against state police and the review board, was backed by the Second Amendment Foundation, a Bellevue, Wash.-based gun rights advocacy group.
“People have the right to carry weapons of self-defense,” said Alan Gura, the lead lawyer for the Second Amendment Foundation. “The state cannot require a special need or cause to do so. It is a right that is being regulated.”
In arguments filed with the court, Mr. Gansler, a Democrat, wrote that the whole reason the law was enacted was to reduce gun violence in public places. Maryland has a high crime rate, the arguments state, and handguns drive those rates of violence higher.
“Many assaults arise from petty disputes, and the presence of handguns greatly increases the likelihood that the disputes will become violent and deadly,” the argument states.
Because of the pending appeal, the March ruling is not yet in effect.
Since the ruling came down, Maryland lawmakers have looked at legislative options to strengthen gun control.
During the August special session, Baltimore Democratic Sen. William C. Ferguson IV introduced a bill that would require firearms training and prohibit permit holders from carrying guns in places such as churches, bars and movie theaters. He said the bill is aimed at ensuring permit holders are responsible arms owners. Lawmakers did not vote on the bill.
Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement has been criticized in recent years by Republicans, who have argued that the restriction is unconstitutional and overly vague. As recently as this year, Republican lawmakers have introduced General Assembly bills to overturn the requirement.
According to Maryland legislative analysts, the state has about 14,000 active concealed-carry permits and has used the “good and substantial reason” clause to deny an average of 214 applications each year since 2009.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow