Maryland to Allow Gun Permits Without 'Good and Substantial Reasoning'

Maryland will become the 37th state where law-abiding citizens don't need to show a "good and substantial reason" to exercise their Second Amendment rights as of Aug. 7 under a court order filed by a federal district judge.

The order signed on July 23 by Judge Benson E. Legg gives state officials two weeks to implement his March ruling that struck down a requirement that concealed carry applicants show a "good and substantial reason" to transport a firearm.

The requirement prevented many from applying for permits, according to Second Amendment advocates who expect tens of thousands of state residents to seek -- and be granted -- such licenses. There are about 12,000 active carry permits in Maryland.

In 2011, the Maryland 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.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office is appealing the change and could, before Aug. 7, ask the U.S. Court of Appeals to delay implementation until the challenge is heard.

When the ruling is enforced, there will be 37 "shall-issue" states, four states that allow residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, and only eight remaining "may-issue" states that require applicants meet the "good and substantial" criteria to be issued a permit.

Illinois is the only state that doesn't allow citizens to legally carry a concealed handgun in public, a prohibition still also in vogue in Washington, D.C. Both jurisdictions must change their laws to comply with the Supreme Court's 2008 Heller v Washington DC and 2010's McDonald v. City of Chicago rulings, but are dragging their feet in doing so.

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