A petition to the Supreme Court to take up Maryland’s “good reason” for CCW permits could have far-reaching effects. If the court takes the case, it could set the rules for carrying a firearm outside the home, particularly in blue states that rarely issue such permits.
“A right delayed is a right denied” Alan Gottlieb, Second Amendment Foundation
Is carrying a firearm a right, or a “regulated privilege?”
Maryland requires CCW permit applicants to have “good reason” why they need a permit. The case that is being sent to the top court is a lawsuit entitled Malpasso v. Pallozzi – Malpasso and the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association stated that the state’s requirements for CCW permits are unnecessarily lengthy and expensive, making the law unconstitutional. (Pallozzi is the Maryland Secretary of State.)
Through the lower courts, the lawsuit failed. So the Second Amendment Foundation and Maryland gun groups have petitioned the Supreme Court in a 27 page document to take this case. And there are good reasons why they need to do so:
The 27-page asks the court to decide “to what extent the right to bear arms applies beyond the home,” because the question “has deeply divided lower courts.”
It notes that the D.C. and Seventh Circuits held that the right applies just as strongly outside the home as inside the home, while the First and Second Circuits determined that the right likely applies outside the home, but in a weaker form.
Meanwhile, the Third and Fourth Circuits declined to decide whether the right exists outside the home, and the Ninth and Tenth Circuits held that the right to bear arms does not protect concealed carry.
“Clearly,” Gottlieb said, “the lower courts need definitive guidance on this important constitutional issue. What other constitutionally enumerated fundamental right applies only within the confines of the home? It is time the high court takes up this issue to determine whether the Second Amendment vigorously protects a right, or allows states to treat it as a regulated privilege.”
So far, the Supreme Court has been loathe to take up a major Second Amendment case. If they’re going to do it, this one should be the one to tackle.[Maryland has been sued before for the training clause in their law- one month of training is required just to own a firearm. Maryland Shall Issue Inc. filed a lawsuit contending the training requirement violates the 2nd amendment.]
Several jurisdictions in the US have a “good reason” clause that in effect becomes a no-ccw-permit-clause. Even after the Supreme Court smacked down Washington DC over their good reason clause and told them they “shall issue” – their actual CCW permit count is still dismally small. In Maryland, the court ruled in 2012 that a jurisdiction “may not require” a reason for issuing CCW permits. It hasn’t fazed them. They’re still doing their own thing.
Given the extreme division of the different courts over the right to keep and bear arms, the Supreme Court is the last resort. If they refuse the case, then what?
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