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Maryland Ends 'Good Reason' Provision for Carry Permits

AP Photo/Marina Riker

New York might drag its feet on recognizing the new legal landscape when it comes to Second Amendment rights. Eventually, it will have to abide by the law of the land, which is that the "justifiable need" or "good reason" provisions with regards to concealed carry permits are unconstitutional. We have the right to carry guns outside the home for self-defense. It's a landmark ruling that we have been waiting on for almost a decade. One deep-blue, anti-gun state has decided not to wait. Maryland said it's ending the "good reason" provision in its carry permit process. It will be a similar model as Virginia, which is a shall-issue state. Simply put, if you pass the safety courses and the background check, you'll get your permit. No questions asked. It may take anywhere from 30-45 days, but you'll get it. There will be no arbitrary denials like in times past. Stephen Gutowski of The Reload has more but added that the state of Maryland, which has some 24,000 permit holders, could see that figure balloon up to 500,000 at least: 


More Marylanders will soon be able to legally carry concealed firearms for protection.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R.) announced on Tuesday he would abide by a recent Supreme Court ruling and do away with the subjective “good and substantial reason” clause in the state’s gun-carry permitting process. The change will make it easier for qualified applicants to obtain concealed carry permits. It is a direct response to the Court striking down a similar provision in New York’s carry law as unconstitutional.

“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 said in a press release. “It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law.”

The decision comes as states grapple with how to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision. Maryland is attempting to avoid likely-fruitless legal fights to keep its current restrictive permitting laws in place, while states like Maryland and California are passing laws trying to sidestep the ruling.

The change to Maryland’s law will result in the state issuing far more permits.

Maryland had fewer than 24,000 active carry permits in 2021, according to a study by the Crime Prevention Research Center. The same study found neighboring Virginia, which uses a permitting system without a “good reason” clause, had over three-quarters of a million active permits. While Maryland has a smaller population than Virginia, if it began issuing permits at the same rate, it would end up with over half a million.


Well, that sounds like an expansion of civil rights. The next question is whether Maryland will enact reciprocity agreements with other shall-issue states, specifically neighboring Virginia. Every state is going to go about this at its own pace, but taking the Maryland route will avoid further legal action. The Court was clear about this—states must abide by the law. Dragging your feet will only lead to anti-gun officials losing in Court and paying legal fees that are wholly avoidable. 

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