Maryland officials react to Supreme Court gun ruling

NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams analyzes the Supreme Court’s gun ruling


Maryland has a gun law similar to the New York law struck down by the Supreme Court on Thursday, and it’s expected the court’s decision will have an effect on the state’s gun restrictions.

Maryland law requires applicants to provide a “good and substantial” reason for having a concealed carry permit. Applicants also have to show that they don’t have a “propensity” for violence.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh blasted the Supreme Court’s decision in a statement Thursday, saying it “means more deaths and more pain in a country already awash in gun violence.”

Frosh said his office would examine the ruling to determine its impact on state law.

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland, called the ruling a “slap in the face.”

State lawmakers weighed in as well.

Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones issued a joint statement saying they “fundamentally disagree” with the opinion, and that “more guns in public means more violence.”

Ferguson and Jones pledged to review the opinion and “pass legislation that protects Marylanders and complies with this brand-new precedent.”

Senate Minority Whip Justin Ready, who has favored making Maryland a “shall-issue” state, wrote in a statement that the Supreme Court ruling “clears the way for legal challenges to Maryland’s restrictions.”

Maryland Shall Issue, an organization that has lobbied Second Amendment issues in Annapolis, issued its own statement saying it would analyze the ruling and comment “when appropriate.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan didn’t weigh in on the Supreme Court decision. He tweeted a statement from the National Governors Association announcing the formation of a bipartisan work group “to give state and local leaders effective tools designed to combat gun violence and instill confidence in our communities and schools.”

Hogan is the former chair of the association and a member of the bipartisan work group.

“This is the first time the Supreme Court has ever defined what the Second Amendment means when it talks about the right to keep and bear arms, now we know the answer,” NBC reporter Pete Williams told WTOP.

“Maryland is one of the five other states, in addition to New York, with similar laws that require some special showing to get a permit … I think the Maryland restriction is now in trouble.”

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said he’s reviewing the 135-page decision.

Spokesperson Victoria LaCivita, a spokesperson for Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, told WTOP “Virginia’s concealed carry laws do not include the ‘proper cause’ restriction that the Supreme Court today struck down as unconstitutional.”

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