The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 December 2003

Insufficient danger

The Cabinet Man, guest-blogging at WeckUpToThees!, recounts his experience with trying to get a concealed-carry permit from the state of Maryland, and there's something seriously wrong with this picture:

[My] CCW application was rejected due to "insufficient reason". In other words, I haven't been threatened, mugged, robbed, raped, etc.... In Maryland's twisted "cart before the horse" laws concerning CCW, the state — not me — is the one to determine "apprehended danger". In other, other words, if the state thinks I'm safe, then I don't get a permit. No matter that I could be assaulted ten minutes after leaving the state police barracks. After that, I could probably get a permit. Maybe....

This is truly insane. You have to prove you're likely to be attacked to get a carry permit? This makes as much sense as requiring you to have cavities before you can buy dental insurance. Maybe even less.

Packing.org has seen this before:

In MD it is almost impossible for a non-resident to get a permit. For that matter most MD residents can't either.

Then again, Maryland doesn't think much of the right to keep and bear arms, anyway. Here's an opinion from the Attorney General [requires Adobe Acrobat Reader] on one of the state's multitudinous gun-control laws:

House Bill 1283 would unquestionably prevent some individuals from obtaining firearms that they may lawfully obtain under current law. The only significant issue of facial constitutionality is whether the bill violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article 28 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights. We conclude that it does not.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides as follows: "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." A threshold question about the Second Amendment is whether it is applicable to the states. Because it is not, the Second Amendment is irrelevant to House Bill 1283.

Legal cite offered: Onderdonk v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 44 Md. App. 132, 407 A.2d 763 (1979).

Despite that declared irrelevance, Maryland contends:

In Maryland, the militia is "well regulated" by Article 65 of the Code. As part of this regulatory scheme, arms needed for the militia are to be "deposited in the armory ...." The General Assembly thus has made the manifestly reasonable judgment that the needs of the militia can be met with State-owned firearms housed in secure locations.

No tenable argument can be made that the needs of the State militia can only be met by affording private citizens access to the kinds of firearms that would be restricted under House Bill 1283.

Given Maryland's crime rate, I suspect that eventually everyone in the state will qualify for concealed-carry — but why should they have to wait that long?

At least if you can get a Maryland permit, it will be honored while you visit Oklahoma.

Posted at 5:29 PM to Political Science Fiction