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:

  1. People like me cannot exercise their right because a thief might take my gun.
  2. People like me cannot be trusted to exercise their right in Maryland because we will kill each other.
  3. People like me cannot exercise their right because the police might shoot them accidentally.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

37 Responses to Kenn Blanchard’s CCW Diary Pt. 2: Upgrade Required

  1. Point of clarification. Maryland has not issued a permit to carry concealed since 1972. It’s a permit to wear transport or carry a handgun. Like Connecticut, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Minnesota, it’s a license to carry a handgun…. Concealed or not.

    A MD carry license does authorize someone to carry switchblades and other similar type of weapons concealed, as a MD permit acts and an exemption to the criminal penalty for concealed carry of these weapons.

  2. I just picked up a new sig pistol from Fred’s in Waldorf and the guy said there was a 40 day wait! Maryland is such a horrible state. Thankfully my job keeps me out of the state 9 months a year. Really should change my place of residence.

    • Would any part of Virginia be close enough to your job to work? They have far more citizen-friendly gun laws.

    • “Go West, young man.” to the firearms enthusiast’s paradise called Arizona. Moved from there to PA.(don’t ask) Here’s my “stupid interpretation of the law” story: Me & mine go to local gun shop and buy a rifle and an antique handgun, after passing the ($10 ea.) NICS checks and blowing 45 minutes to do so. It gets better. The rifle is an Uberti Lightning and mine, a late 1800’s S&W Model 4. We have valid AZ CCWs and PA LTCFs. No matter, “they don’t have to see them.” We finish the sale, the guy says “Thanks!!” and goes on to the next customer. Here we are, holding over $1,000 in firearms in our hands, no bag. No bags in sight. No case, ok – but no bags? Can’t get anyone’s attention to ask for bag or if they exist here. We head out into pouring rain, running across the parking lot with an $800+ rifle under his coat, like some thug and the old gal in my pocket. We were absolutely bewildered!!!! WHY did this happen? Ahhhhh – Because the store clerk didn’t” know” we has conceal carry permits so he “wasn’t allowed” to place the items in a bag. (There’s that word again.) True story. Good God. Yeah, its like THAT in Pennsylvania! (Where you can spend $1,000 AND be treated like a schmuck.)

  3. welcome to Illinois.

    oops, we don’t eve have what you have in MD. we simply are NOT allowed to carry. but, the process for being allowed to simply OWN a gun in Chicago seems much more arduous than what is needed in MD to actually (potentially) carry it. i WISH we had it as good as you 😉

    • Has Illinois prosecuted anyone for illegal carry? I find it difficult to believe a well picked jury will convict given the situation there. If jurys won’t convict the law means nothing, unless some federal charges can be brought in, Randy

      • Actually, there are several prosecutions on-going, and a state court recently held that the Seventh Circuit decision isn’t binding on them. Basically, it is a complete mess until the legislature passes a concealed carry law, which seems to get debated on a weekly basis. There was an article on the morass that is the current state of CCW law in the Chicago Tribune earlier this week.

    • Victor, what has happened to Illinois getting concealed carry? After the appeals court ruling, I noticed a lot of hubbub about forthcoming legislation, but it seems like all we hear now is crickets chirping. What’s going on?

      • You have to follow along at Illinois Carry Forums to find out what’s what. Our NRA lobbyist is very active and posts status there almost daily of late. I can summarize by saying that Madigan is playing games and aims to win his dream of banning guns as well as deep sixing conceal carry forever. It’s a real mess and the game changes daily.

        • Thanks Mina, keep up the good fight. Living in Missouri, I avoid coming into or spending any money in Illinois.

  4. This is so bass-ackward. The burden of proof ought to be on the state – if it can’t prove you DON’T need a gun or carry permit, then they should shut up and get out of the way.

  5. Just a technical point if it helps, the form suggested upgrading Adobe Acrobat, but you seem to have upgraded Adobe Flash. Perhaps you could try upgrading Acrobat to see if it works (they are different programs).

  6. Good luck. When I lived near Albany, NY it was common knowledge in our county (county judges much approve permits) that if you stated on your application that you wanted to carry for self-defense, that was going to get you an automatic denial. In some counties just filling out the form was an automatic denial because of the judges elected in them.

  7. Blanchard may want to check the MD laws regarding publication
    of state documents. I would think that if one could prove that the
    forms were not available they could have a judge rule it must be
    made accessible since it’s a public document. Just a thought.

  8. Before Colorado became a “shall issue” state, the standard, acceptable reason for a CCW was, “for business and travel”. Of course with libtardism encroaching from MD and CA, both places where I’ve lived, loved and left, Montana seems to have more charms than it used too…

    As they say when something very bad happens, “I’m sorry for your loss.” In this case, it would appear the loss of protections under the Second Amendment, is just that, something very bad. Colorado is hemorrhaging fast, and without some help, it looks very, very bad.

    God Bless the “Old Line State” and those who truly love her.

  9. I’d do an article of the permitting journey in Hawai’i.

    It’d be two sentences long:

    “I walked into HPD and asked the police chief about acquiring a permit to carry. The police chief laughed for a solid 2 minutes, frowned, and said “get out.””

  10. And yet cross the border to PA and you get a CCW for $25 and a quick trip to the courthouse for a photo when it’s ready 6 weeks later.

    I guess people in Maryland are so much more irresponsible and childish than Pennsylvanians that they can’t be trusted with guns.

  11. I just wanted to inform you that the application wasn’t taken down. I just pulled it up on my computer. Don’t know why it wasn’t working earlier

  12. I’m going through the CHP process in Durham, NC and it’s a similar PITA. NC is a pretty 2A friendly state, except for Durham. Of course Durham is also the most likely place in the state where you’d need to defend yourself… in order to get a permit here, in this shall issue state, they make you release your mental health records from each of the counties hospitals plus the VA if you’re unfortunate enough to have served your country. Just to make sure you’re not crazy. Mind you, this is called the “City of Medicine” for a reason… There are quite a few hospitals and records requests seem to be pretty low on the priority lists of most of them. There’s also a charge for each request, even if there is no record to release because they still need to research in order to deliver the verdict that there’s nothing to deliver. So, $90 for the permit, plus $10 for each hospital of which there are four or five and a whole lot of waiting and making hone calls to move things along, THEN the clock starts once all the records are received by the sheriff. They then have 90 days under state law to issue or not issue the permit.

    So, long story short, I feel your pain brother.

    • Get an out of state from Florida…my son started the process in NC, it took so long he applied and got one from Florida before the permit in NC finally came through…

      • Called the other day to check if those hospitals sent in the records. Yes they did, but they “forgot” to tell me about the VA not sending theirs yet… So back on the phone come Monday and another few days down the drain.

  13. Be careful applying for CCWs in “May Issue” states: If you are denied, that’ll stick on you for every application everywhere, and likely yield a denial. You could always “California carry,” but be sure and have a cozy relationship with an attorney and insurance, or $25,000 handy.

  14. the politicos in IL have added over 45 amendments to the current concealed carry bill. at this point it seems that with less than 70 days to go (out of 180) that we are closer to constitutional carry (to use a phrase) than we are to a real and workable law. be that as it may, Illinois has also prosecuted HUNDREDS of people and convicted them of a FELONY for nothing other than the possession of a handgun outside of their home. and there are many that are on going even now with the 7th circuit opinion published in December. put simply, Chicago (which controls IL) hates guns. of course, not in the hands of police officers, because for some reason, having a badge of authority as a 22 year old and going to the police academy erase all doubt of your moral aptitude to have the power and the tool, compared to someone who is a doctor or lawyer and has other permits from other states and no criminal history and trains more often than the average law enforcement officer. IL is a lost cause. period. and as bad as some other states may be, at least you aren’t in IL. you at least have SOME kind of process. we have none and probably will not. Not to mention, that our dear prosecutor has vowed to ignore the ruling after it becomes effective in june and to continue to prosecute people who otherwise lawfully have a gun (and the CPD who will vigorously arrest them to take guns off the street). it’s not fun nor a recipe for a state that works in any way or form. look at where chicago and IL rank on ANY list regarding lifestyle (personal, political fiscal or otherwise) and you will be appalled at what yo see.

    • Fight harder. It’s only a lost cause if you allow it to be. The fight would have been easier if your state had fought to retain its rights in the first place. Now that they’ve been taken from you it will be much harder to get them back. Harder, but not impossible.

  15. just re-read all the requirements…..short story. get witnesses to any apprehensible threats. make sure they write down what they saw.

  16. When I lived in NC I found its gun laws a breath of fresh air when I moved there from NJ. But for 15 years I have been fortunate enough to live in Georgia, and its gun laws make NC look like the old USSR. Besides Georgia being a shall issue state, the county probate judge decides and signs off on your CCW (here it’s called the GWL – Georgia Weapon License). It took just trip to the county court house, filling out the two page form, you pay $75 , they take your picture for the GWL card and a deputy takes your fingerprints, then they run a background check. If everything is AOK then in my county the GWL arrives in two weeks or less. Mine was in my mail box in seven calendar days – AND the effective date on my permit was the day after I applied for it! The permit is good for 5 years and here we can open or conceal carry with our GWL and we can carry concealed knives with no restriction on blade length. We have no legal obligation to inform a cop that we carrying. We can go into restaurants that serve alcohol and legally enjoy adult beverages with our meals while open or concealed carrying – this has been the law for years and – now get this – there have been no blood baths that the anti-gun nuts claimed would result. In Georgia the law says you can’t discharge a firearm while intoxicated except in the case of self defense – and again there have been no blood baths. No gun signs do not carry legal weight here, unless management or the store owner sees you carrying and then if they tell you to leave they must give you ample time to leave. And here the state law preempts town, city or county law. Georgia respects its citizens.

  17. It has been four years since this article was posted and as a Maryland resident I am disappointed to report that things have gotten no better in “The Free State”. I recently decided that I should renew my LEOSA CCW permit because while I live in a county with an extremely low crime rate, there are times when I have to venture into the City of Baltimore – and we all know what THAT’s like. One of the requirements is that retired LEO’s must have a notarized statement that they understand and will abide by the rules governing the H.R. 218 LEOSA Act and it must be brought with you to the police range when you go to qualify. I went to the MSP website and printed out what I thought was the correct form(s). It was NINE (9) pages long! I was flabbergasted and called the range supervisor, who informed that it was the form(s) non-LEO’s had to endure to apply for a CCW and he sent me a link for the proper form, which consisted of but two (2) pages.

    The plain fact of the matter is that in Maryland “may issue” means “won’t issue”. And as I type this, I’m hearing on the radio that there have been 146 murders in Baltimore already this year, a pace which if not abated will lead to an all-time record for homicide in the city this year Granted, the great majority of the carnage is drug dealers killing other drug dealers in turf wars but if I get caught in a crossfire, it’s nice to have the ability to make the shooters duck so I can get out of there. Every law-abiding Marylander should have that.

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