A federal appeals court has upheld a key provision of Maryland's gun-control laws, maintaining the state's tough restrictions on carrying handguns in public places, reports the Washington Post. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturned a lower court ruling that found the state's permitting system at odds with the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. At issue in the case was Maryland's requirement that residents provide a “good and substantial reason” to the state police for carrying a handgun. Judge Robert King wrote that the state has “clearly demonstrated” such a requirement “advances the objectives of protecting public safety and preventing crime because it reduces the number of handguns carried in public.” The appeals court found that a lower court judge was wrong to overturn the law because it did not “single-handedly safeguard the public from every handgun-related hazard,” the appeals court said. Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said the court's ruling was “critical for public safety.” “If this had been reversed, any person who wished could have walked in, gotten a gun and [toted] it around in public places with no particular reasons for doing so,” he said.