Md. Eases Business Owners' Handgun Permit Restrictions

Maryland State Police is allowing the removal of restrictions on business owners' concealed carry permits to clarify ambiguities that business owners say they need.

Business owners like Andy Raymond, who owns a gun shop in Montgomery County, currently have a concealed carry permit with restrictions. The restrictions allow him to wear his handgun when he's on the job or traveling to and from work. 

Now, he's applying to have those restrictions lifted so he can always have his handgun with him.

"What if I stop at 7-Eleven to get water on a hot day? Is that covered?" Raymond said. "What if I stop and get gas on my way back home. Is that covered?"

Lifting the restrictions on concealed carry permits applies to business owners only. Employees are only allowed to carry a weapon for business purposes. 

Gun rights group Maryland Shall Issue called the change a "small victory for the rule of law."

But Maryland Attorney General Brain Frosh said the state police didn't consult with him and said he disagrees with the decision.  

"There are folks who need to carry a weapon when they're doing their job, but when they're not doing their job, they don't need it. It puts everyone else at risk," Frosh said. 

Some gun control advocates said it's bad timing for Maryland to remove restrictions on concealed carry permits for business owners the same week there were mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

"Research has shown us across the board permissive concealed carry standards lead to increased violence and unintentional shootings," said Liz Banach of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

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