Concealed Carry Permit Applications Soar in Maryland

Applications for permits to carry handguns in Maryland are up 700% from this time last year after changes to gun laws

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The numbers are in, and it looks like a lot of people in Maryland are looking to carry a firearm in public following big changes to gun laws.

Applications for concealed carry permits are up more than 700% from last year, according to Maryland State Police data obtained by News4. They went up from 1,014 from June 23 to July 11 in 2021 to over 7,165 in the same period this year.

The increase in applications comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of a New York law restricting access to concealed carry permits on June 23. A similar law in Maryland allowed local leaders more discretion to deny permits.

Following the Supreme Court decision, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan relaxed restrictions on handgun permits, saying in a statement: “In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits.”

Gun control advocates have blasted the governor’s move, and members of local law enforcement are expressing concerns.

“More people carrying more guns in more places will just lead to more death and injury,” said Melissa Ladd, a chapter leader for Maryland Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense.

“People probably in their minds think that having a gun will make them more safe,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones. “The question is, you know, when people are carrying a weapon, how efficient are you… when it comes to these high-intensity type of situations, to be able to handle a weapon?”


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Gun rights groups say loosening restrictions is right on target.

Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, says the permitting process checks people who want to carry guns in public.

“Permit holders who are thoroughly investigated simply don’t commit crimes. Guns are inanimate objects. They’re not going to jump up and start shooting people on their own. They are tools, and they are employed by people who are demonstrated through the investigation process that they are responsible law-abiding citizens,” Pennak said.

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