A federal judge declared unconstitutional a provision in Maryland law regulating who can carry a handgun, effectively loosening the restrictions governing firearm possession on the state’s streets, reports the Baltimore Sun. U.S. District Judge Benson Legg said a state requirement forcing those applying for a gun-carry permit to show that they have a “good and substantial reason” to do so “impermissibly infringes the right to keep and bear arms,” as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” Legg wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.” The ruling was hailed alternately as a victory by gun enthusiasts, who saw it as an aid to public safety, and as a dangerous precedent by gun opponents, who painted it as a return to the Wild West. The Maryland attorney general’s office vowed to appeal the ruling and request a stay of its implementation.