BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Gun owners in Maryland will no longer be required to prove that they have a "good and substantial reason" to carry a concealed firearm under a new order issued by Gov. Larry Hogan following a recent Supreme Court ruling.
Citing the high court's decision to strike down a New York law requiring residents to show they need to carry concealed weapons, the governor on Tuesday directed the Maryland State Police to halt enforcement of a similar requirement in Maryland.
"In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the 'good and substantial reason' standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits," Gov. Hogan said in part. "It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law."
The Supreme Court ruled last month that a New York law requiring residents to establish their need to carry concealed weapons was unconstitutional, saying it infringed on their Second Amendment rights to "keep and bear arms."
Hogan said he was suspending the enforcement of a similar law in Maryland—which requires gun owners seeking permission to carry concealed weapons to prove they have been threatened or are a business owner who makes bank deposits, among other reasons—because it is "virtually indistinguishable" from the New York law.
Under the law, Maryland State Police previously required those seeking wear-and-carry permits to provide a "good and substantial reason," such as "finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against danger."
The governor said the change is consistent with steps other states have taken in response to the high court's ruling. He indicated it falls in line with his track record of backing the rights of "law-abiding" citizens to own and carry guns while taking steps to keep firearms "out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill."
Suspending enforcement of the "good and substantial reason" requirement will not have any influence of any other permitting requirements, the governor said.
Maryland State President Bill Ferguson released a statement, pointing to Monday's mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Illinois and vowing to pass legislation protecting Marylanders from gun violence.
"As we all witnessed yesterday in Highland Park, more guns are not the answer to community safety," Ferguson said. "We are facing a crisis where unfettered access to firearms makes it dangerous to exercise our fundamental freedoms like speech, worship, and education."
Ferguson said during its next session, the Maryland General Assembly will pass legislation that follows the Supreme Court ruling's precedent while making sure there are limits in place to keep families safe.
"Now more than ever in history, we must pass laws protecting all Marylanders from potential gun violence. The lethality of the weapons available for purchase has never been greater, and our laws must accurately reflect their danger," he said.
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