Today, I embarked on the quest to get a concealed carry permit in the state of Maryland. It wouldn’t have to be such a quest if I lived in a state that respected the US Constitution and the rights of the people. Maryland, though, prevents this by requiring a need to prove in your application that you have a “good and substantial reason” for wanting to carry a firearm outside your home. My reason is simple . . .
“I am pro-life…my life.”
I think having to wait until my life is threatened and then documented by the police before I can satisfy a condition to carry a sidearm is like having to wait to be legally able to get a bumper on my car until I have had an accident that doesn’t kill me.
The last time I tried to get a permit to carry, I went to the Maryland State Police barracks and waited in a long line with others to get portions of the needed application before being told everything that I needed to comply wasn’t there.
This time, I returned to the same State Police barracks and the parking lot was empty. There were no long lines of people getting fingerprinted by volunteers for everything ranging from background checks to be child providers, security guards and Marylanders seeking to get a permit to carry concealed. I wondered if there was a holiday I was unaware of. It wasn’t, but I walked right in and was greeting by Trooper “Friendly” and a corporal who gladly told me everything is now done online.
Ok, I thought, maybe this is a new day. It should be easy. The Maryland State Police website lead me to a batch of downloadable forms, all of which came up pretty fast. Except for the one I needed. I got the following message:
Warning: This form is not supported with the current version of Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Upgrade to the latest version for full support.
After downloading the latest Flash reader, I realized there was nothing wrong with my reader. The application was just unavailable. It was subtly taken down. Recently, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the District Court’s ruling in the Woollard case and upheld Maryland’s carry permit laws as constitutional.
I’m sure the Second Amendment Foundation will likely seek an “en banc” review through the legal system. If granted, all of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judges would rehear the case. It’s impossible to know whether or not this petition will be granted. It seems clear, however, that it will ultimately take a Supreme Court case to determine the extent of the right outside the home.
Maryland “allows” us to have firearms in our homes. Also to travel with one from our home, secured in such a way that it can’t be accessed from inside a vehicle, to a range or shooting club activity, to a dog show or a military outing with a permit. The state government thinks those are all the gun rights Marylanders need. The Kachalsky case in New York is being petitioned to the Supreme Court and the result of that case will most likely impact Woollard’s appeal to the Supreme Court.
Applying for a concealed carry permit now after this ruling is going to be tough, especially since I can’t access the form right now. But I’ll press on.
I live in a state where our legislators believe that:
- People like me cannot exercise their right because a thief might take my gun.
- People like me cannot be trusted to exercise their right in Maryland because we will kill each other.
- People like me cannot exercise their right because the police might shoot them accidentally.
- People like me cannot exercise their right because public safety is harmed when the police waste time chasing those “black man with a gun” calls that are really just pesky, law-abiding citizens exercising their civil rights.
- People like me cannot exercise their right because the police would have to take the time to figure out if someone carrying a firearm is legally allowed to do so. It’s far easier to ban the exercise of a right than to require law enforcement to perform their jobs. This way, every man or woman with a gun is a criminal.
- Maryland politicians can then deny a constitutional right to 99% of the population simply by saying, “It’s in the interest of public safety.”
I don’t share these beliefs and neither should any reasonable, educated, law-abiding, tax paying person in the state of Maryland. And that’s why I’m going to make sure I share this knowledge and try to help legally arm as many free people — especially those “people like me” — as I can.
“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” -Thomas Jefferson