It will become a lot easier to obtain permits to conceal and carry guns in Maryland as of Aug. 7 under a new court order, the Baltimore Sun reports. Federal judge Benson Legg gave state officials two weeks to implement his March ruling striking down a requirement that concealed carry applicants show a “good and substantial reason” to transport a firearm. The requirement prevented many from applying for permits, according to gun proponents who expect tens of thousands of state residents to seek — and be granted — such licenses. There are about 12,000 active carry permits in Maryland.
The shift comes amid nationwide concerns about access to guns, after a well-armed shooter opened fire in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Co., last Friday, killing 12 people and injuring 58. Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler is appealing the order. Daniel Vice of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence called the change to Maryland’s policy a “reckless ruling that threatens public safety,” by arming those “like the Colorado shooter, who had committed no crime until he shot 70 people.” Alan Gura, who represents the gun-rights group Second Amendment Foundation and argued the case that altered Maryland law, said the problem is “regrettably, there are going to be criminals and crazy people” bent on destruction.