“’A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,’ (U.S. District Court Judge Benson) Legg wrote. ‘The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.’” Sure, we hold this truth to be self evident, but not everyone does. At least they didn’t in Maryland until Judge Legg ruled that Marylanders can have a license to carry a gun without demonstrating “need.” But after the ruling was handed down back in March, the Judge stayed implementation to let Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler argue how many angels can dance on the head of a pin what the meaning of a right is . . .

But the AG was apparently unpersuasive. Darn the luck. From baltimoresun.com:

But in an eight-page memorandum signed Monday, Legg determined that there was no basis for a stay and issued an order dissolving the temporary delay effective 14 days later.

A spokesman for the Maryland attorney general’s office declined to comment on the ruling Tuesday afternoon, and an attorney for the plaintiff in the case, Raymond Woollard, could not immediately be reached.

Woollard, who lives in Baltimore County, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court after he was denied a renewal for his gun-carry permit. Woollard received his first permit in 2003, after his son-in-law broke into his home one Christmas Eve and terrorized the family, according to court records. It was renewed in 2006, but denied three years later, because Woollard couldn’t show a continuing threat.

While the state police superintendent (he’s the one tasked with pronouncing pass or fail on carry permits) only turned down about 5% of the applications he received last year, most that got a thumbs down verdict were because the applicant didn’t show a ‘good and substantial reason’. We’re sure the superintendent will find something productive to do with all the extra time he’ll now have.

So look for usacarry.org to change the color of the Old Line State on its map from the sickly may-issue shade of what Crayola used to call ‘flesh tone’ to a much healthier shall-issue blue. Jump on in crab cake fans, the water’s fine.

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37 Responses to Judge to MD AG: A Right’s Existence Really Is All You Need

  1. $20 says they appeal to the 4th circuit, which I think is silly given the other states in the circuit are all shall issue, but AG’s don’t get into office without a healthy sense of (overinflated) ego. Actually, I pray they appeal so we get a good ruling from the 4th and really force the issue nationally.

    • “$20 says they appeal to the 4th circuit, which I think is silly given the other states in the circuit are all shall issue, but AG’s don’t get into office without a healthy sense of (overinflated) ego”

      you have gt our ******bag AG nailed perfectly, he is in love with the sound of his own voice and only O’malley’s more so.

      i think this is frigging awesome btw, but i am going to wait a bit longer until we truly know what’s what.

      http://marylandshallissue.org/2012/07/temporary-stay-lifted/

      • They love to trot out their low rejection rate. They fail to mention that very few people apply because they know they will be denied. People don’t want to waste their time and money. I know that people have talked about trying to get large groups of people to apply in the past just to show how few they would actually approve

  2. Hopefully someone files suit in NJ soon….

    Looking in your direction 2nd amendment foundation

  3. this is what i’ve been saying all along. the bor gives us all the same rights, it doesn’t matter what state you live in. i’m an american regardless of my home address.

  4. If this stands, it will eventually doom New York, Chicago and California, as well as Hawaii, Massachusetts and the U.S. Territories.

    • Chicago will fall shortly. The 7th Circuit hearing didn’t go well for the state and given this ruling, I suspect they will cite it as well as the Ezell case from last year. Can’t wait to be able to drive thru IL without having to disarm

      • Dirk, I’ve just gotten to where I won’t go into Illinois for anything. Thankfully I can now buy Mega in MO, so I don’t even have to go there for that anymore!

      • Don’t hold your breath. The 7th Circuit essentially ordered the trial court to issue an injuction precluding application of Chicago’s revised statute (enacted after McDonald), but accurately predicting that the statute would be found infirm, the City again revised its statute in an attempt to moot the 7th Circuit decision. So far, the trial court has been playing ball with the City, but one must wonder how long the Circuit will tolerate theCity’s shenanigans.

        • An update: After remand, plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction. After a three day hearing, that request was denied. Plaintiffs have failed to support their contention that they have been irreparably harmed by the Citys ban on firing ranges. “Each individual plaintiff has the ability to travel to have firing range training conducted outside of the Citys borders and the organizational Plaintiffs have failed to support their contention that residents are unable to obtain their training outside the City with any evidence. Even if Plaintiffs could demonstrate that they were harmed by the new ordinance, that harm can be remedied through monetary damages in the likelihood that they succeed on the merits. Finally, no court has expanded the breadth of the Second Amendment right of possession within ones residence as established in Heller to the right to train at a firing range within ones municipality and therefore there is questionable likelihood of success on the merits.” That decision has been appealed. Meanwhile, discovery is ongoing.

        • Don’t know which case you are thinking about. There are two cases (now consolidated) before the 7th on the right to carry. Oral arguments were last month. Chicago has been playing around with the ordinances related to zoning for gun ranges and just recently (last week) revised its ordinance related to disqualifying misdemeanors. Since Ezell was a 7th Cir. case and 3 out of 3 of the appellate judges were all conservative appointees, I don’t think Chicago has much to be hopeful about.

  5. Let’s not jump the gun. The original ruling, granting Woolard an injunction, was excellent, but Maryland appealed almost immediately and asked for a stay of the injuction order pending appeal. The trial court, after several months and extensive briefing on the issue of whether an increase in guns licenses would lead to increased crime, finally denied the application for a stay. The reason Legg allowed two weeks before the stay was lifted is two-fold: 1) to allow Maryland to gear up for the flood of applications that will be submitted, and 2) to allow Marland to seek an emergency stay of the order (which is very likely what Maryland will do). No telling what the 4th Circuit will do with the stay app, but commentary suggests that the appeals courts usually rely heavily on the determination by the trial court. Since Legg found against the State on all four factors factors courts look at in making the stay determination (including the low probability of harm from the issuance of licenses), his decision will be stringly although not presumptively deemed correct.. If the 4th grants a stay, it will be a very political decision.

    Meanwhile, the Maryland State Police are reportedly working closely with the Maryland carry rights org behind the lawsuit, and has state that it will explicitly comply with the law as determined by the federal court. However, it has warned that if Legg’s decision is reversed on appeal, it will revoke any permits issued without a showing of a “good and substantial reason,” nor will it refund any fees paid by applicants ($75 per).

    • Wow $75!!!! OMG!!
      Well here in CA it is way more than that, and harder to get I would assume.
      Eventually they will get the laws thrown out of CA which hinder us.
      Maybe…
      Eventually…

    • I wonder what the government is going to charge for the permits to speak, or go to church, or go over to my brother-in-law’s for his Super Bowl party (they are going to make a killing off of assembly permits on Super Bowl Sunday alone) and what about writing my Congressman. I bet they just outright ban that. Really why should they have to read a bunch of letters from people…oh yeah….they don’t.

    • It’s more like $115 once you add in fingerprinting fees. Plus time off of work for a 15 min in person interview at a MSP barracks (mine was the next county over, an extra 50 min further than the closest barracks).

  6. When you need to ask permission to exercise a right, it’s not a right.

    The right to bear arms is a right, not a privilege. Privileges are for children, subjects, and slaves.

    Pretty simple.

  7. This will go to the Supreme Court. It’s far from over, but according to what I’ve heard, his decision sounds solid, so we may get five votes in support. Good times could be coming.

      • I think there would have to still be a lawsuit in each state, but yes, SCOTUS decisions apply to everyone. Again, a lawsuit would have to be filed first, then heard, and the lower court would have to apply the SCOTUS ruling to the current lawsuit.

        • Not really. Most states are shall issue on CCWs, so the question in Woolalard is not presented. It affects all the “may issue” states. The only one left out right now is Illinois, which is the last no issue state.
          I too like Judge Legg’s analysis, but it has hurdles to overcome, the biggest of which is the fact that the Supreme Court and other state courts in the distant past upheld concealed carry bans, usually because no hinest man had a reason to hide the fact that he was carrying. Todya, the attitude is exactly the opposite: openly carried guns in most urban areas cause fear and panic, but what they don’t know does not bother them–concealed carry is now the prefered method. How this will match up with prior Supreme Court cases authorizing concealed carry bans is an interesting issue fraught with uncertainty.

  8. As Judge Legg said; “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.’ From his mouth to God’s and the Supreme Court’s ears.

    • Can we now start using that ruling to make CCW permits unnecessary, and the NFA and Hughes Amendment rules to die? Pretty please? No? Okay… Maybe another time…

  9. another reason this coming election is so important. the man in the oval office may be able to shift the balance if 1 or more justices retires or dies.

  10. Nice, hopefully this sticks.

    Next can we get some VA-MD reciprocity? My inability to legally carry there is the major reason I refuse to cross the border.

    Not gonna get my hopes up though… The only thing those Marylander commies hate worse than their own CCW packing citizens is the idea of us Virginia hicks carrying guns in their stinkhole of a state.

  11. There are already cases in the federal courts of appeals for the following states:

    New York
    New Jersey
    Massachusetts
    Illinois
    California

    There are cases at the District Court level in Hawaii and DC.

    Oral argument is complete in the court of appeals in MA and IL. Oral argument is scheduled in NY and NJ cases in the next 60 days. The Woollard appeal will be fully briefed in about 4 weeks.

    We have pretty good odds of getting one of the cases up to the Supreme Court during the next term.

    -Gene

  12. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs”… but you still need a permission slip that says we approve of you exercising that right.

  13. “Good reason” are the two words that sound the death knell for a Right.

    “Good reason” to possess a firearm was introduced in the UK in the 1930’s & less than 20 years later personal defence was removed as a “good reason”.
    No new laws were required, there was no outcry(because nobody knew until it was too late) & politicians no doubt congratulated themselves on another evasion of the Will of the People.
    Remember: A “good reason” is entirely dependent upon one’s viewpoint & the worst possible wording when proscribing a Right.

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