In June of 2022, the Supreme Court issued a dangerous decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, striking down a portion of New York’s concealed carry permitting law that, like a similar provision in the Maryland code, required those seeking to carry concealed guns in public to demonstrate that they had a “proper cause” to do so. As a result, the bar to carrying hidden, loaded guns outside one’s home or place of business have been significantly lowered. States like Maryland that once imposed high standards for permit issuance must now respond by updating their laws to conform them to the court’s ruling. These changes include strengthening the permitting process in order to ensure that the Maryland State Police are able to appropriately exercise its authority to deny permits to those who have demonstrated that they are likely to endanger themselves or others by carrying a handgun in public and designating ‘sensitive places’ across the state, where firearms may not be carried to include places of public accommodation such as hotels, inns, theatres, and food and retail establishments serving alcohol. SB1 would also make it illegal to carry a permitted gun on anyone’s property without the permission of the property owner.
The evidence overwhelmingly suggests allowing almost anyone to carry a concealed gun in public increases violent crime, gun theft, workplace homicide and mass shootings. Designating sensitive places of public accommodation where firearms pose a significant danger to public health and will maximize public safety and this bill does so in such a manner that it withstands constitutional scrutiny and does not infringe on the rights of lawful and responsible gun owners.