A Maryland law that requires gun owners to show “good and substantial reason” before being able to carry a weapon in public has been ruled unconstitutional in a federal lawsuit. U.S. District Court Judge Benson E. Legg says the law puts restrictions on the constitutional right to bear arms, restrictions that aren’t warranted and aren’t legal.
The state’s attorney general’s office plans on appealing the ruling and requesting a stay of its implementation. One lawmaker, however, states that he has already proposed a bill that would eliminate the “good and substantial” wording from the current laws.
“I have a bill that does exactly what the court said we needed to do,” said Delegate Michael D. Smigiel Sr. according to the Baltimore Sun. But, he says, though it would pass committee, politics would prevent it from getting to vote. He hopes this latest ruling will garner his bill the needed support.
Legg’s ruling came after considering two “basic questions”, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Those are whether or not the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms extends outside the home, and whether the “good and substantial” clause is constitutional.
Because people are allowed to hunt and the 2nd Amendment was written with this and militias in mind, Legg determined that it does apply to outside of the home. On the second question, Legg reasoned that states make certain laws and requirements to improve public safety and keep firearm ownership reasonable, but that the “good and substantial” requirement went beyond this and actually restricted law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.
When a Maryland citizen wants a permit to carry a weapon with them, they must obtain a permit from the secretary of the state. The permit requires they show that they aren’t a convicted felon, an addict, an alcoholic, and that they aren’t violent. All of this is done in the name of public safety. In addition, however, the secretary until now had to determine if the citizen, “has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.”
Currently, there are 12,000 such permits in the state. That figure is expected to rise, however, if Legg’s ruling stands.
Gun laws are strict and when you are accused of violating them, they carry significant penalties. If you are accused of a weapons offense in Georgia, contact us today to discuss the details of your case and how we might be able to help.