By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
As the debate over gun rights heats up on Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition to hear a challenge to a key provision of New York state's restrictive gun laws.
A federal appeals court has ruled that Maryland can require concealed-carry handgun permit applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" for wanting to carry a gun outside the home, leaving state officials feeling vindicated and Second Amendment advocates vowing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Anti-gun jurisdictions are in trouble. Tuesday's 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down the Illinois ban on concealed carry has put in the crosshairs the reluctance of the District and Maryland to allow citizens to exercise their right to self-defense outside the home.
Florida is preparing to issue its 1 millionth concealed-carry permit while a federal court ruling this week left the nation's capital as the only place in the United States with a total ban on carrying concealed weapons — developments that have gun advocates feeling that momentum is on their side in the national debate over whether Americans can remain armed once they leave home.
New life is being breathed into the Second Amendment. After it was beaten down by activist courts over the decades, the nation's top justices finally decided two years ago that the founders meant what they wrote. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court majority held it was unconstitutional for the Windy City to forbid residents to keep handguns in their homes. On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided the phrase in the Bill of Rights about "bearing arms" has meaning as well.
Attorneys for the state of Maryland argued Wednesday in federal court that a law requiring residents to provide a "good and substantial reason" for seeking handgun permits is a reasonable restriction that promotes safety without violating the Second Amendment.
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.
The ability of Americans to bear arms is on the line in this presidential election. The Supreme Court, which started a new term on Monday, will have little choice but to take up the issue of carry rights within the next few years.
A federal judge has struck down a Maryland law barring residents from receiving handgun permits unless they have a "good and substantial reason," in an opinion that gun rights advocates celebrated Monday as a "monumentally important decision."
"The only thing worse than explicitly refusing to enforce an enumerated constitutional right would be to declare a right 'fundamental' while standing aside as lower courts render it worthless," Mr. Gura wrote in a reply brief on March 26. "Few outcomes could promote as much cynicism about our legal system."
"It's not much of a right if the police can demand that you satisfy their vision of a good and substantial reason to exercise it," gun rights attorney Alan Gura, who represented Mr. Woollard, said in a statement Thursday. "The next step is for courts to tell Americans that they need a good and substantial reason to speak, worship, or be secure from unreasonable searches unless the Supreme Court ends this sort of thinking about our fundamental rights."