2A victory in Maryland, Wollard v. Sheridan
District Court opinion here.
The Maryland handgun carry permit statute requires the applicant to show that he "has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger." Plaintiff had had a home invasion, was issued a permit for a time, then was denied it since he could not show a current threat.
The court applied intermediate scrutiny, and notes that the requirement has no significant link to reducing crime. Rather it operates a rationing system. Maryland argued that guns in general pose risks -- law-abiding owners might not always be law-abiding, criminals might steal them -- to which the court responds that you could make the same argument to support a system which arbitrarily issued a permit to every tenth applicant. Maryland also argued that use in self-defense might escalate a situation or lead to accidental injuries -- to which the court replies that that is a peculiar argument, since the permit system supposedly ensures that carry permits go to those most likely to become a victim of crime, and thus most likely to use a gun in self-defense.
It's a great win, courtesy of Alan Gura and SAF...
Hat tip to Gene Hoffman of CalGuns....
Sounds like a start to challenges of California's may issue laws.
Posted by: Mayor Joel Stoner at March 5, 2012 10:19 AM
Another win from the SAF!
Posted by: Scott at March 5, 2012 11:05 AM
Will this decision immediately affect other applicants, if not appealed by Maryland?
Posted by: Jeff at March 5, 2012 01:40 PM
So no to strict scrutiny, no to prior restraint, and no to equal protection. These would be too hard for the court to make such a quantum leap.
Posted by: Scott at March 5, 2012 02:14 PM
Baby steps, well, big boy steps in this case.
The Courts can lead on this and then, when the non-issueness of allowing lawful carry demonstrates itself, the people and Legislature of the states can make the final moves. Just like Shall-Issue led to Con. Carry in every state that has it (VT doesn't count, -very- old court case got them theirs from the get go).
They got the gun control they wanted over time and by inching a foot in the door. We just need to kick it back out, but faster since we can show the ineffectiveness of their regimes.
Posted by: Matthew Carberry at March 5, 2012 03:02 PM