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States roll back concealed carry policies following Supreme Court ruling

Jul 05, 2022


Top officials in Maryland and Massachusetts have directed police in their states to hold off on enforcement of the states’ concealed carry policies in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling from last month. The ruling found New York state’s law requiring unrestricted concealed carry license applicants show a need for self-defense is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ordered police to suspend Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” standard for permits to carry handguns. In a statement, Gov. Hogan described the now-defunct New York law as “virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law.”

“It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law,” Hogan said in the statement. “Today’s action is in line with actions taken in other states in response to the recent ruling.”

On Friday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey released guidance for police chiefs.

While the guidance allows police chiefs to ask applicants their reasons for applying for a license to carry, chiefs can no longer deny or restrict licenses because they believe an applicant doesn’t have a “good reason” to carry. Under the guidance, chiefs can still find applicants ineligible for a license if they are a “prohibited person” or if the chief deems the person unsuitable to carry a gun because they would pose a risk to public safety.

In addition to state concealed carry policies, last month’s Supreme Court ruling may impact bans in different parts of the country. Last week, The Washington Post reported four men with permits to carry concealed handguns in Washington, D.C. sued the district over its ban on carrying firearms in the Metro transit system. The men argue the ban is unconstitutional under last month’s ruling.

The lawsuit came on the same day the Supreme Court sent a case challenging New Jersey’s ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines back to a lower court for review in light of the ruling. The New Jersey Monitor reported the Court also ordered lower courts to reconsider a similar ban in California, as well as a Maryland ban on assault-style rifles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Shannon Longworth: We’re now starting to see some of the fallout from last month’s Supreme Court ruling on concealed carry.
The ruling struck down a New York law that required concealed-carry applicants to show a need for self-defense.
Today — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan directed state police to suspend enforcement of the state’s “good and substantial reason” standard.
Hogan described New York’s now defunct law as quote “virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law.”
As for New York – the state assembly is already rewriting *its* licensing laws.
Gov. Kathy Hochul | (D) New York: “The Supreme Court’s decisions were certainly setbacks, but we view them as only temporary setbacks, because I refuse, as I’ve said from day one, I refuse to surrender my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. We’re not going backwards. They may think they can change our lives with the stroke of a pen, but we have pens too.”
Shannon Longworth: The Supreme Court ruling may also have an impact on more specific bans on what and where people can carry.
In Washington D-C — four men sued the district last week over its Metro transit system gun ban.
The men argued the ban was unconstitutional under the recent ruling.
And in Massachusetts – the state attorney general made a similar announcement to Governor Hogan’s last week.
Authorities there can no longer deny or restrict licenses because they believe the person doesn’t have a “good reason.”
On the heels of the concealed carry ruling – The Supreme Court has ordered lower courts to reconsider bans on large-capacity magazines in New Jersey and California — as well as an assault rifles ban in Maryland.

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