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Application system for gun permits in Maryland remains 'under review' after Supreme Court ruling

No changes to the system declared unconstitutional have been announced in Maryland. One gun group predicts an "avalanche" of lawsuits.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A leading Second Amendment group in Maryland is encouraging gun owners there to apply for permits from the State Police to carry handguns outside their homes.

This is after a Supreme Court ruling last week that makes Maryland’s restrictions on permits unconstitutional.

However, as of Monday, Maryland’s rules are still in effect.   

Gun groups predict an avalanche of lawsuits if that doesn’t change quickly.

According to Maryland State Police, at least 5,032 gun owners have applied for permits to carry a handgun outside the home in 2022 so far.    Another 3,300 have applied for renewals for existing permits. At least 772 of those applications were disapproved.

Mark Pennak, President of Maryland Shall Issue, a Second Amendment group, says gun owners should now apply.

"People are submitting because there's a pent-up demand for permits," Pennak said.

"We are encouraging people to submit to put the question to the state police and by extension to the Attorney General's office to get off the dime and make a decision."

Pennak explained the state must determine how to eliminate its requirements that people have to show a “good and substantial reason” for wanting a permit to carry a gun.

The Supreme Court ruling determined that citizens do not need a special reason for wanting to carry a gun.

RELATED: Flood of concealed carry applications predicted in Maryland after Supreme Court ruling on guns

"The Supreme Court was quite clear on this. They can't use a permitting system to block the the right to carry outside the home," Pennak said.

In Maryland, special reasons have included: being a business owner dealing in cash;  a person who’s been threatened; or having a position such as being a judge or a legislator.

RELATED: Supreme Court strikes down New York gun law in major 2nd Amendment ruling

The Maryland State Police and the Maryland Attorney General’s office say the state handgun permit process remains in effect but is being reviewed, according to spokespersons for the agencies.

"The Maryland State Police Licensing Division is aware of the US Supreme Court’s decision and it is under legal review by the Attorney General's Office," said the agency in a written statement. 

Any changes to permitting rules and procedures will be announced on the Maryland State Police Licensing Division webpage.

As new applications for permits continue to pile up, Pennak says anymore delay will be a recipe for "an avalanche" of lawsuits directed at Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

“So the more he delays the longer that queue will be, and the more likelihood the state will pay some more lawsuits," Pennak warned.

Key Maryland legislators plan to meet Wednesday to discuss strategies on how the state can comply with the Supreme Court ruling without putting more guns on the street.

Previously failed gun safety legislation, including stricter laws to keep guns away from kids under 18, is "virtually guaranteed" to be introduced again,   according to Montgomery County Delegate Lesley Lopez.

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