Maryland Court Strikes Down Gun Control Law

Handgun permit system unconstitutional, judge decides
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2012 4:36 AM CST
"The law impermissibly infringes the right to keep and bear arms," the judge wrote.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Maryland has no right to demand that residents explain why they need to carry a gun outside the home, a federal judge ruled yesterday, declaring the state's handgun permit system unconstitutional. The law required residents to provide a "good and substantial reason” to carry a gun, but "the right to bear arms is not limited to the home," the judge decided, saying that Maryland had created a rationing system by trying to limit the number of firearms outside homes.

Gun rights advocates hailed the decision, which is likely to lead to challenges to similar laws in six other states, notes the Washington Post. The Brady Center, however, argues that Maryland is entitled to let law enforcement decide who carries a gun on the streets. The judge's decision "would be a very dangerous precedent to remain on the books," the center's legal director tells the Baltimore Sun. "We hope and expect it to be reversed." Colorado yesterday struck down a University of Colorado gun ban. (Read more Maryland stories.)

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