US District Court upholds right to conceal in Maryland

The Daily Caller, by Adam Jablonowski, March 6, 2012 –Maryland’s goal to control the amount of firearms carried by residents is unconstitutional, according to U.S. District Judge Benson Everette.

A decision in Woollard v. Sheridan on Monday made by Maryland’s U.S. District Court upholds that the Second Amendment “right to bear arms is not limited to the home.” Therefore, Maryland citizens should not be required to submit a “good and substantial reason” when applying for a concealed carry permit.


Woollard’s case charged the state police superintendent and members of the Handgun Permit Review Board for putting the burden of proof on a citizen and wrongly denying Woollard’s application in 2010.

“People have the right to carry a gun for self-defense and don’t have to prove that there’s a special reason for them to seek the permit,” Woollard’s attorney, Alan Gura, told the Associated Press. Gura has fought handgun bans in the District of Columbia and Chicago.

Plaintiff Raymond Woollard received a concealed-carry permit after a struggle with a thief at his home in 2002. His license renewal application was denied by the state of Maryland because he could not prove he was subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.”

Judge Everette’s decision secures the right to bear arms by upholding a broad interpretation of the Second Amendment.

“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” Judge Legg wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

Maryland Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett commented on the issue in a press release, writing, “I applaud U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg for upholding our Constitution’s Second Amendment right for law-abiding Marylanders to own and use a handgun in defense of themselves and their family.”

Gun permits are common in the United States. Maryland and six other state governments issue permits at their discretion. Gura noted that cases similar to Woollard’s “have not succeeded in U.S. District Courts, but they are being appealed.”

4 responses

  1. Senator-Blutarksy

    The National Assoc of Gun Rights gives this analysis of our present Repub candidates which should be of interest to most here –

    Each candidate has the NAGR Presidential Survey in hand — but Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are still stonewalling gun owners by refusing to respond.

    Each of the remaining candidates needs to know that gun owners have a powerful voice and we assume that silence is a sign they are hiding an anti-gun position.

    I have serious concerns about Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich.

    It’s their long anti-gun records that worry me.

    Let me take a minute or two right now to remind you of the anti-gun positions of the three Presidential candidates who have so far refused to return their National Association for Gun Rights Presidential Survey.

    Mitt Romney:

    So far, Mitt Romney has refused to respond to his NAGR Gun Rights Survey, perhaps because when Romney was Governor of ultra-liberal Massachusetts he signed a bill to ban an entire class of firearms.

    Would he do the same thing — or even worse — as President of the United States? His record indicates that he would.

    Mitt Romney supports the Brady Registration Act, mandatory 5-day waiting periods, mandatory firearms ID cards, the Federal Feinstein Gun Ban (so-called “assault weapons ban”) and he signed the Massachusetts Semi-Auto Ban in 2004.

    He even went as far as to say that he supported Massachusetts’ tough anti-gun laws: “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them… I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”

    And to throw fuel on top of Mitt Romney’s anti-gun fire, he received the endorsement of John McCain recently, who himself has recorded promotional commercials for anti-gun groups hell-bent on restricting our Second Amendment rights.

    Rick Santorum:

    If you’ve watched any of the Presidential debates, you’ve noticed that Rick Santorum claims time and again to be a “fighter” who has “led on conservative issues.”

    Rick Santorum’s record on the Second Amendment, however, tells a different story.

    In the 90s, he voted to support the Lautenberg Gun Ban, which stripped law-abiding gun owners of their Second Amendment rights for life, simply because they spanked their children or did nothing more than grab a spouses wrist.

    He voted for a bill in 1999 disguised as an attempt to increase penalties on drug traffickers with guns… but it also included a provision to require federal background checks at gun shows.

    In 2000, Santorum voted to force pawn shops to require a background check on anyone coming into the store to sell a firearm.

    And then he voted with gun-controlling Democrats Dianne Fienstein and Frank Lautenberg to mandate locks on handguns in 2005.

    But worst of all, Rick Santorum has a storied history of bailing out anti-gun Republicans facing reelection.

    Rick Santorum came to anti-gun Arlen Specter’s defense in 2004 when he was down in the polls against pro-gun Republican Pat Toomey. Specter won and continued to push for gun control during his years in the Senate.

    He also supported and openly campaigned for anti-gun New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman.

    It certainly appears that Rick Santorum has no regrets about his past anti-gun record. Worse, it appears he’d be happy to continue along this path as President.

    Newt Gingrich:

    For those who have followed Newt Gingrich’s career, the revelation that he talks out of both sides of his mouth won’t be a surprise.

    Despite claiming to be pro-gun, Newt Gingrich’s reign as Speaker was downright hostile to our Second Amendment rights.

    Newt supports the Brady National Gun Registry, a national biometric thumbprint database for gun purchasers, the Lautenberg Gun Ban and the “Criminal Safezones Act.”

    Newt doesn’t think the Brady Instant Gun Registry goes far enough — he wants thumbprints:

    “I think we prefer to go to instant check on an immediate basis and try to accelerate implementing instant checks so that you could literally check by thumbprint… Instant check is a much better system than the Brady process.” — June 27, 1997

    Gingrich may claim to be pro-gun . . .

    But his record indicates otherwise, and his refusal to answer his NAGR Gun Rights Survey should give any Second Amendment supporter cause for concern.

    You and I know we have the most anti-gun President in the history of our country right now in the Oval Office . . .

    . . . but perhaps even more dangerous would be a Republican in the Oval Office with a proven anti-gun history of cutting backroom, anti-gun deals.

    Ron Paul is the only remaining Republican candidate who has returned his survey 100% in favor of gun rights.

    PS lads – if someone cannot get 2A right, why would you expect them to do anything else right?

    I love the smell of burning paradigms in the morning.

  2. I am concerned for these three guys having an ok for me but not for thee attitude. You not only find this in the 2nd amendment arena but in the other rights that they have supported or ignored.

  3. Jack C. Pickard

    Can’t and Won’t disagree with either of you on your assessment. To address this article I still state clearly any requirement of American Citizens to acquire Concealed Carry Permits is in and of itself a violation of the Second Amendment! Permits will give the enemy an immediate record of everyone everywhere in this country that has weapons. Why, why, why would we want to do that??? It is the fact that we are an armed citizenry that people aren’t willing to cross our borders or invade us because flat out they will be shot! With Agenda 21 in the hands of our corrupt politicians and a record of all of these concealed permits, your local County Judges will be able to confiscate your weapons at his own whim of a state of emergency in his territory and he will direct the sheriff of the county who holds more power than any other lawman in a defined region, to conduct this confiscation and enpower him to deputize those that sheriff deems necessary to get the job done. When will Americans wake up and recognize this danger???

    1. Senator-Blutarksy

      Very correct Jack

      “All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed
      they must rely exclusively on force.” – George Orwell

      But, in droves, “some” Texans lined up like sheep to get “permission” from Austin to do what a natural (God-given) right already delineated. They traded a “right” for a “privilege”… a privilege can be revoked, at the will of masters those folks accepted as such, by whim or decree.

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