- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Gov. Larry Hogan, citing a recent pro-gun rights decision by the Supreme Court, said Tuesday that Maryland will drop the “good and substantial reason” standard the state has been using to evaluate applications for wear-and-carry firearms permits.

“Over the course of my administration, I have consistently supported the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms, while enacting responsible and common-sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,” Mr. Hogan said in a statement.

“Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits,” he said. 

“It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols.”

Mr. Hogan noted that his directive is in line with “actions taken in other states in response to the recent ruling.” 

The recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down the “good cause” provisions in eight “may issue” states required carry permit applicants to prove a “good cause” to licensing authorities to qualify to carry outside their residence. 

Maryland Republican candidate for governor Kelly Schulz praised the move by Mr. Hogan, noting that Maryland Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh was not taking action on the issue. 

“After weeks of dragging his feet, I called on Attorney General Brian Frosh to do his job and allow law-abiding Marylanders to exercise their constitutional right to concealed carry,” said Ms. Schulz. 

“I commend Governor Hogan for doing what the Attorney General has repeatedly failed to do on this issue — follow the laws of this nation. The governor directing the Maryland State Police to process these permits is the right call, and I stand with him in support.”

Attorneys general in California and New Jersey late last month both issued directives to stop requiring a “good cause” from otherwise qualified applicants for concealed carry licenses.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a legal alert to all law enforcement agencies in the state saying they “may no longer require a demonstration of ‘good cause’ to obtain a concealed carry permit.”

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin issued a directive that stated “while the Supreme Court decision prevents New Jersey from continuing to require a demonstration of justifiable need in order to carry a handgun, it does not eliminate the enforcement of other permitting requirements under State law,” such as background checks and training mandates.

New York’s Democratic-controlled state Legislature, however, responded to the Supreme Court decision by passing a raft of new gun control laws to supplant the 1913 Sullivan Act, which had initially introduced the “good cause” measure the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional.

The new laws include bans on where people can carry their firearms including schools, parks, libraries, government buildings and public transportation. Businesses that allow firearms on-site must post signs stating that guns are allowed. 

The legislation also requires a stringent licensing protocol including an FBI background check and a review of all social media accounts. Additionally, background checks will be required for ammunition sales. 

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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