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Maryland ‘Substantial Reason’ Requirement Challenged

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Unread 08.21.13, 07:16 AM
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Maryland ‘Substantial Reason’ Requirement Challenged

08.20.13 09:01 PM

There’s an important gun rights case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that could be as significant as recent gun-rights wins like District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). The case comes out of Maryland, where the State requires an applicant for license to carry a handgun to demonstrate “a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.”

Baltimore County resident Raymon Woollard had a license to carry for six years. It was granted after a violent home invasion attack by his son-in-law. But when the license came up for renewal again, his request was denied because the attack had occurred seven years earlier and he no longer demonstrated a sufficient “substantial reason” requirement, per Maryland law.

Woollard, along with the Second Amendment Foundation, sued the State, citing SCOTUS rulings in Heller and McDonald. The Federal court ruled in his favor, but the ruling was subsequently overturned by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court ruled the State satisfied the standard as the good-and-substantial-reason requirement for obtaining a Maryland handgun permit is reasonably adapted to a substantial governmental interest.

In other words, the 4th Circuit believes the 2nd Amendment can be arbitrarily suspended if the means (restricting gun ownership) achieves the State’s ends (reducing gun crime) but did not require the State to prove its case.

There have been several lower court decisions since Heller and McDonald that indicate the gun grabbers continue to subvert the will of the Founders on the rights of all Americans to “keep and bear arms.” It will be up to SCOTUS to once again affirm the right.

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