Uncategorized

Fourth Circuit upholds concealed carry restrictions

In a decision handed down today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond  upheld a Maryland law requiring an applicant to demonstrate “good and substantial reason” for the issuance of a handgun carry permit.

“The State has demonstrated that the good-and-substantial-reason requirement is reasonably adapted to Maryland’s significant interests in protecting public safety and preventing crime,” wrote Judge Robert B. King for a unanimous three-judge panel in Woolard v. Gallagher, reversing the district court. The panel also included Judges Andre M. Davis and Albert Diaz.  (See a profile of those judges and the Fourth Circuit here.)

The plaintiff, Raymond Woollard (joined by the Second Amendment Foundation in the lawsuit), had initially obtained a handgun carry permit in 2003 after an intruder incident at his home (the intruder was his son-in-law).  He was allowed to renew the permit in 2006, shortly after his son-in-law was released from prison, but could not renew again in 2009 because he could not establish an apprehended fear or other good reason to carry a handgun beyond his home, as required by the Maryland law.

In upholding Maryland’s restrictions, the court stopped short of considering whether the Second Amendment protects a right to carry outside the home. “We hew to a judicious course today, refraining from any assessment of whether Maryland’s good-and-substantial reason requirement for obtaining a handgun permit implicates Second Amendment protections, ” King wrote.

The 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Kachalsky v. County of Westchester  took a similar approach back in November when it upheld a New York law requiring applicant to show “proper cause” for a concealed-carry license.

But other circuits have gone further.  In February, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to carry concealed weapons. “In light of our nations’s extensive practice of restricting citizens’ freedom to carry firearms in a concealed manner, we hold that this activity does not fall within the scope of  Second Amendment ‘s protections,” wrote Judge Carlos Lucero for a unanimous panel there in Peterson v. Martinez.

That ruling conflicts with an earlier a decision out of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Madigan v. Moore, holding that the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry loaded guns outside the home — and may now push the Supreme Court to address the scope of that amendment.

The Supreme Court has ventured into this area only twice. In 2008, the Supreme Court recognized an individual right to possess a gun, ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller that a ban on handguns in the home violated the Second Amendment. And in 2010 the court held that Second Amendment protections extended to the states.

It has not since addressed the scope of that right beyond the home and has provided little guidance on when and how the right can be regulated by the government.

And it has repeatedly declined to consider those questions on appeal, denying petitions for certiorari at least six times, including in a 2011 Fourth Circuit case, United States v. Masciandaro, which involved a Virginia man who was convicted and fined $150 for having a loaded gun in his car while parked in near Washington’s National Airport.

 

 

 

Check Also

State Supreme Court rules retroactive application of teacher tenure repeal is unconstitutional

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more