“A Small Victory for Common Sense and the Rule of Law”

Last week the Maryland State Police issued new regulations making it a little easier for certain business owners to obtain and take advantage of concealed carry weapon permits.  The Sun reported it like this:

Maryland business owners who have restrictions on their concealed carry permits for handguns will be able to have those limits lifted so they can carry their guns at all times, under a policy change state police announced Tuesday.

Many business owners who hold permits have been allowed to carry their handguns only when on the job or traveling to or from work. Now, they will be able to switch to unrestricted permits that will allow them to carry their handguns at any time.

“It was a repeat issue of business owners, and the issue of when they were working and when they weren’t,” said Greg Shipley, a Maryland State Police spokesman. “An employee usually has set hours. … A business owner can be quite different, and the owner is always the owner.”

The concealed carry crowd has attacked us in the past for passing along similar good news and giving the Hogan administration credit for pro-Second Amendment actions.

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Maybe we can avoid such criticism by quoting the leading concealed carry group in Maryland, Maryland Shall Issue, who had the following to say:

On August 6, 2019, the Maryland State Police announced that they were changing their standard operating procedure with respect to restrictions placed on carry-permits issued to business owners. Under this new policy, business owners who otherwise establish a “good and substantial reason” for a carry permit will be issued such a permit without any restrictions. Previously, the permits issued to such owners were restricted to “while conducting business.”

Apparently, the Maryland State Police intends to take steps to apply this new policy to business owners who have appealed the prior restriction to the Handgun Permit Review Board or have appeals pending on this restriction before the Office of Administrative Hearings. 

This SOP reflects this new policy with respect to business owners and defines what constitutes a “business owner” under this policy. The new SOP may be found HERE. While we continue to believe that all restrictions should be eliminated, we welcome this change in the State Police policy for business owners. Under this new policy, business owners, at least, need not fear an illegal or arbitrary arrest for carrying outside their restrictions under the vague “while conducting business” restriction previously used by the State Police. 

The new policy is thus a small victory for common sense and the rule of law. Rest assured that MSI will continue to press for full elimination of the “good and substantial reason” requirement in the General Assembly and the courts.

We completely agree and support the work that MSI is doing to protect Marylanders’ Second Amendment rights.  You can support them by clicking here.

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