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Maryland’s Handgun Licensing Law Struck Down by Federal Court

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A federal appeals court has ruled that Maryland’s handgun licensing law is unconstitutional due to its restrictive requirements. The law, which was enacted in 2013 following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, mandated that individuals submit fingerprints, undergo a four-hour firearms safety course, and pass a background check before obtaining a special license to purchase a handgun.

In a 2-1 decision, judges from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond determined that these requirements violated individuals’ Second Amendment rights.

The ruling took into account a Supreme Court decision from last year, which marked a significant shift in Second Amendment law and emphasized the importance of aligning gun laws with historical firearm regulation traditions.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore, a Democrat, expressed disappointment with the court’s decision. He stated that his administration would continue to fight for the law, arguing that common-sense gun laws are crucial in protecting communities from gun violence.

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The court’s opinion, written by Judge Julius Richardson, emphasized the burdensome nature of Maryland’s law and highlighted the lack of historical justification for its restrictive measures. The court also noted that the long waiting period for obtaining a handgun qualification license could potentially put applicants at risk.

However, Judge Barbara Milano Keenan dissented, asserting that her colleagues misapplied the Supreme Court precedent. She criticized their “hyperaggressive view of the Second Amendment” and advocated for remanding the case to the lower court for further consideration.

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Credit: DepositPhotos

Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, the organization that brought the lawsuit against the state licensing requirement, celebrated the court’s ruling. He argued that it removes unnecessary obstacles and bureaucratic hurdles for individuals seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Overall, the court’s decision marks a significant development in Second Amendment jurisprudence and highlights the ongoing debate surrounding gun laws in the United States.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!