Maryland Democrats Determined To Continue Enforcing Unconstitutional Handgun Law

Democrats in Maryland are determined to enforce the state’s handgun qualification law, despite a court ruling that the law violates the Second Amendment.

In November 2023, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out that Maryland’s handgun law did not fall in line with the decision that the U.S. Supreme Court made in 2022 in the case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.

“Maryland’s handgun qualification law is … the most severe of anywhere in the country by far,” the president of Maryland Shall Issue, Mark Pennak, said. “It is the most burdensome of any enacted anywhere.”

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Maryland’s gun restriction law blatantly violated Americans’ Second Amendment rights. The three-judge panel, in its decision, wrote that Maryland has not presented an adequate reason for its gun restriction law.

“If you live in Maryland and want a handgun, you must follow a long and winding path to get one,” the court said in its ruling. “The challenged law restricts the ability of law-abiding adult citizens to possess handguns, and the state has not presented a historical analog that justifies its restriction; indeed, it has seemingly admitted that it couldn’t find one.”

“Under the Supreme Court’s new burden-shifting test for these claims, Maryland’s law thus fails, and we must enjoin its enforcement,” the court added.

The court said that Maryland already has a process set for those wishing to purchase a weapon, adding that The Old Line State’s anti-Second Amendment law would delay the process for law-abiding Americans to purchase a weapon.

Under Maryland’s handgun qualification law, the process for an individual to receive their weapons license could take up to 30 days. An individual wanting to purchase a gun in the state must receive their license, pass a background check, submit fingerprints, and complete a four-hour course on weapons training.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) expressed his disapproval of the court’s decision, arguing that the handgun qualification law “is now about stripping away rights from responsible gun owners,” but rather to ensure that Marylanders can “live free from fear.”

Moore said his office is conceiving different ways it could review the court’s ruling.