Today, Governor Larry Hogan ordered Maryland State Police (MSP) to immediately suspend requiring applicants for Wear and Carry Permits to demonstrate a “good and substantial” reason for wanting a permit. This is to bring Maryland into compliance with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling from the NYSRPA v Bruen case.
For far too long, Maryland has prevented the majority of law-abiding citizens from exercising this fundamental right. This persisted as other states went shall-issue over the decades, and even as constitutional carry has reached 25 states in recent years. Now, MSP cannot arbitrarily deny permits to applicants who meet all objective criteria. As a result, more law-abiding citizens will be able to exercise their right-to-carry to defend themselves and their loved ones. The criminals, who have gotten used to menacing the public with impunity, will find fewer and fewer defenseless victims.
This important step forward comes as Gov. Hogan’s second term is nearing its end. The General Assembly will still need to permanently correct Maryland’s statute to remove this unconstitutional provision. Maryland’s permit process is still plagued by the onerous requirements and a high processing time that far exceeds those of neighboring Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. This will still prevent many Marylanders of limited economic means from acquiring a permit. It is critical that gun owners and Second Amendment supporters remain vigilant going into the election season, and beyond, to make this right more accessible.