Maryland has experienced a 700% increase in applications for permits to carry handguns after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision striking down part of a New York gun law, News 4 Washington reports.
Maryland State Police records obtained by News 4 show that applications are up from 1,014, during a three-week span in June/July 2021, to over 7,165 during that same period this year.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, the Maryland Attorney General, wrote a letter to the Licensing Division of the Maryland Department of State Police.
In the letter, the Attorney General directs, “Maryland’s ‘good and substantial reason’ requirement is now clearly unconstitutional, based upon controlling Supreme Court precedent that is directly on point . . . [t]hus, the Department is not required to continue enforcing –and, in fact, may not enforce– the ‘good and substantial reason’ requirement in processing public-carry permit applications.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan directed the Maryland State Police to suspend the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard for wear and carry permits. Hogan issued a press release shortly thereafter.
“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,” Hogan said.
“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,” Hogan continued.
Gun-control advocates took issue with the governor’s actions, including members of law enforcement.
“People probably in their minds think that having a gun will make them more safe,’ said Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones. “The question is, you know, when people are carrying a weapon, how efficient are you… when it comes to these high intensity type of situations, to be able to handle a weapon?'”
Mark Pennak, the president of Maryland Shall Issue, also spoke to News 4.
“Permit holders who are thoroughly investigated simply don’t commit crimes. Guns are inanimate objects. They’re not going to jump up and start shooting people on their own. They are tools, and [sic] they are employed by people who are demonstrated through the investigation process that they are responsible law-abiding citizens,” Pennak explained.