Lawsuit Challenges Maryland's "Good And Substantial Reason" For Concealed Carry

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland challenging the state’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for concealed carry. SAF argues that the regulation prevents many law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights to bear arms as guaranteed by the constitution. The plaintiffs also note that the state fails to recognize self-defense as a "sufficiently good reason" for carrying a firearm.


Maryland’s Shall Issue, Inc., and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arm’s joined the suit. The lawsuit mentions State Police Secretary Woodrow Jones III and Attorney General Brian Frosh as the defendants in their official capacity.


Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” means that law-abiding citizens are denied their Second Amendment rights if they cannot prove that they need to carry a firearm for self-defense. Since Maryland is a “May Issue” state, residents are not guaranteed a concealed carry permit. Consequently, a resident must provide documented evidence of credible threats or attacks to be allowed to carry a handgun.

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“The State of Maryland has criminalized the carrying of handguns by ordinary citizens, making it wholly unlawful for law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to bear arms in public for self-defense without first satisfying the State that they have a ‘good and substantial reason’ to do so,” the lawsuit says.


Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and Executive Vice President, says that the "sufficiently good reason" requirement gives state officials the power to “deny someone’s fundamental, constitutionally-protected rights on a whim.”


Unfortunately, waiting for a person to be attacked to be allowed to carry a firearm for self-defense is counterintuitive. It only takes a single attack for people to lose their lives. By the time they prove the credibility of their threats, it might be too late.


Additionally, there are many unanticipated threats or dangerous situations faced by law-abiding citizens, and all it takes is a firearm to save their lives. Lastly, state officials must determine the credibility of the threat. In many cases, they downplay the risks faced by individuals, putting many people's lives at risk.

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