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Politics Second Amendment

Judge: Maryland Gun Permit Stipulation Unconstitutional

by G&A Online Editors   |  March 7th, 2012 5

Gun owners in Maryland have reason to celebrate.

On Monday, a federal judge struck down a Maryland gun permit requirement that states gun owners must provide a “good and substantial reason” for owning a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg said the stipulation appeared to be a measure by the state to limit the number of firearms a citizen may carry; while states are given some discretion as to how the Second Amendment is exercised, Legg said, Maryland’s requirements only seemed to create a rationing system where only those who provided the correct answers got to own more guns.

The plaintiff, Maryland resident Raymond Woollard, filed the suit in 2010 after being denied a permit renewal in 2009. Woollard was the victim of a home invasion in 2002 and obtained a permit shortly after. However, when he reapplied for the permit several years later, the state denied his request because he could not prove that he was a victim of “threats occurring beyond his residence.” He appealed the decision before taking the case to court, but was denied by a review board.

Contrary to the state’s stipulations, Legg wrote that the Second Amendment extends far beyond one’s household.

“In addition to self-defense, the (Second Amendment) right was also understood to allow for militia membership and hunting. To secure these rights, the Second Amendment’s protections must extend beyond the home: neither hunting nor militia training is a household activity, and ‘self-defense has to take place wherever (a) person happens to be,’” Legg wrote.

The state plans to appeal Legg’s decision. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fader said in a written statement that the ruling has “very important implications of the ruling for public safety.”

  • Will Carry

    Good for Maryland! The second amendment is not about hunting, or target shooting, or home defense, it's about freedom.

  • Would Carry

    I believe that it can be shown that in states where one can carry concealed the crime rate has decreased. The Attorney General's office should note that and not worry about those of us who wish to carry legally. We do NOT cause public safety issues – only the criminals do and they ARE armed.

  • Good For Us

    This will be an amazing improvement to our rights as Marylanders. Anyone opposed to it needs to get removed from office.

  • Alex

    I am so glad Raymond got his way. I wish more citizens would proactively protect their freedoms and challenge the silly laws.

  • ron

    brings new meaning to the words "communist state" doesn't it

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