Federal Court Delays Loosening of Maryland’s Gun Laws

In March 2012, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland found that the state’s concealed-carry laws, which allowed police units to allow or deny concealed pistol licenses based on their discretion, was an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. As a result of the ruling and a separate directive, new gun laws in Maryland were scheduled to go into effect this summer, however the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a stay, keeping Maryland’s current law in place while the case is appealed.

Currently, Maryland gun laws require those who apply for concealed-carry permits to pass a background check and to demonstrate that they have a “good and substantial reason” to carry a concealed handgun. Whether the reason is sufficiently “good and substantial” is left up to the police department handling the application.

The March district court ruling held that the “good and substantial reason” requirement was unconstitutional, and that a concealed-carry license should issue as long as the applicant passes the background check and other, non-discretionary requirements. The appeals court, however, has ordered the previous law to stay in place while it hears the case as well.

Gun-related crime convictions can carry serious penalties in Maryland. They can also add to the penalty imposed when one is convicted of another crime. If you’re facing gun crime charges in Maryland, you do not have to go it alone. At Alpert Schreyer, our dedicated Maryland gun crime defense attorneys fight to protect the rights of each of our clients. To learn more, call us today at (866) 444-6363 for a free, confidential case evaluation.

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.