The Second Amendment Foundation is requesting Supreme Court review on concealed carry outside the home, petitioning the high court for review of a Maryland case challenging the state’s arbitrary standards for issuing carry licenses based on whether an individual citizen can prove “a good and substantial reason” for wanting to carry a firearm for protection.
When Judge Benson Everett Legg ruled in early March 2012 that, “The Court finds that the right to bear arms is not limited to the home,” it was seen as a major victory for right-to-carry advocates. However, Legg was reversed on appeal this past March, and now Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler says he will oppose an appeal to the Supreme Court, according to the Daily Record.
The Bellevue-based foundation has filed more than 20 federal lawsuits in various jurisdictions, challenging different gun laws on Second Amendment grounds, since winning the landmark case of McDonald v. City of Chicago that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb was delighted at the time with Judge Legg’s ruling, noting that the judge made it clear that “concealed carry statutes that are so discretionary in nature as to be arbitrary do not pass constitutional muster.”
SAF is represented in the case by attorney Alan Gura, who argued both the McDonald and Heller cases before the high court, winning both and establishing that the Second Amendment protects and affirms an individual civil right to keep and bear arms.
In his filing for Supreme Court review, Gura noted that the court of appeals “merely deferred to police declarations asserting that carrying handguns for self-defense – the exercise of the fundamental, enumerated right to bear arms – is socially undesirable.”
Judge Legg noted in his original ruling that “A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”
Yet lower courts have come up with conflicting opinions about how far from someone’s front door the Second Amendment extends. Anti-gunners would have the narrowest interpretation become the law of the land, limiting the right to bear arms inside one’s home. In that case, gun rights advocates contend, the “right” to keep and bear arms is thus relegated to being a heavily-regulated government privilege.