Krauss on Overturn of Maryland Carry-Permit Law

Professor Michael Krauss told the Baltimore Sun that in the case of a recent federal court decision overturning a portion of Maryland's gun-control law, he belives the judge made the proper ruling.

Constitutional lawyers told the newspaper that the ruling will likely be upheld on appeal and termed the ruling groundbreaking for a liberal state like Maryland.

The federal decision effectively shifted Maryland from a state that follows a "may issue" policy for gun-carry permits to one with a "shall issue" policy like a majority of states that automatically issue gun-carry permits once basic safety conditions are met.

"The reason there are very few rulings like this is because there are very few states like Maryland...that would ever impose a rule like" the "good and substantial reason," said Krauss, referring to Maryland's condition under the "may issue" policy that applicants be required to show a reason acceptable to the state for carrying a gun.

The Maryland attorney general's office has stated its intent to appeal the ruling but has not disclosed the grounds for appeal.

"The appeal is obviously that the judge got the laws wrong," said Krauss. "But I believe he got it right."

Lawyers say gun ruling likely to withstand appeal, Baltimore Sun, March 6, 2012. By Tricia Bishop.
"Before the ruling, Maryland was among a handful of states that follow a 'may issue' policy for gun-carry permits, leaving the distribution of such licenses up to the discretion of local authorities after basic criteria are met. In addition to proving that they weren't dangerous felons or addicts, Maryland applicants were required to show that they had a 'good and substantial reason' for carrying a gun, and it was up to the superintendent of Maryland's state police to determine if an applicant's rationale passed muster.

"Last year, the state police received 5,216 applications for carry permits, and denied about 5 percent of them, most — 179 out of 251 — because officials rejected the 'good and substantial' reasoning, according to a spokesman."

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