MD Rural County's lead in fight for "shall Issue" CCW Permits
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Thread: MD Rural County's lead in fight for "shall Issue" CCW Permits

  1. #1

    MD Rural County's lead in fight for "shall Issue" CCW Permits

    MD Rural County's lead in fight for "shall Issue" CCW Permits

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    The Herald-Mail


    Advocates of localized handgun permitting see it as a step

    Activists see Md. as a ‘may issue’ state rather than a ‘shall issue’ one

    October 6, 2010
    [email protected]

    Advocates of localized handgun permitting said Wednesday that they view it as a step closer to more permissive right-to-carry practices in Maryland.

    Shifting permitting from the state level to the county level would not change the state’s requirement for applicants to show “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun, but it could allow for more-permissive interpretations of that statute, Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins said Wednesday.

    “What I view as reasonable and necessary may differ from what the Maryland State Police may view,” Jenkins said. “I may see a little something different here and say, ‘I believe this is a reasonable request.’”

    Jenkins has joined Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young in calling for state legislation authorizing the Frederick County Sheriff to issue handgun carrying permits, and the Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday they were interested in following suit.

    Currently, all applications for permits to carry handguns in Maryland must go through the Maryland State Police licensing division in Pikesville, Md., near Baltimore, Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said.

    To be approved for a permit, an applicant must pass a background check and demonstrate a “good and substantial reason” for carrying a gun, such as threats against the applicant’s life or a job that requires transporting money, Russo said.

    The application asks for proof of employment for profession-related permits and documented evidence of recent threats, robberies or assaults for personal protection permits.

    Because of the discretionary nature of these requirements, second-amendment activists consider Maryland a “may issue” state, as opposed to “shall issue” states where laws require issuance of handgun permits to anyone not disqualified by criteria such as a criminal record, Young said.

    “I think it should be a ‘shall’ state, not a ‘may’ state, but unfortunately, due to the situation we live in with the state of Maryland, I had to be realistic and try to propose something that I think would pass, basically, under the political philosophies of the state, and that is letting the sheriff have that responsibility,” said Young, who is a member of the National Rifle Association and Monocacy Pistol Club.

    Young said other states, including Pennsylvania, already issue handgun permits at the county sheriff level.

    Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore has said he supports the idea of issuing handgun permits at the local level, but does not think that change alone would result in more approvals.

    Young and Jenkins also said issuing handgun permits at the county sheriff level would result in better turnaround time and make the process less intimidating to potential applicants.

    The average application processing time now is about 90 days, Jenkins said.

    Young described the application process as “onerous,” particularly for someone who is experiencing an immediate situation such as being stalked or threatened.

    “By the time you fill out the application and submit it and get a response back ... who knows what could happen,” he said.

    Russo said the Maryland State Police in 2009 processed 4,274 handgun permit applications, 23 of which were original applications and the rest of which were applications for renewal.

    That year, 173 of the applications were disapproved and the rest were approved, she said.

    Figures for Washington County specifically were not available, Russo said.

    “I don’t think the percentage of denials is exceedingly high, but I think the public has convinced themselves it’s such a little chance of getting a permit outside of those parameters (of occupational risk or documented threats), they don’t ask for it,” Jenkins said.

    Young agreed.

    “It’s just so challenging, people don’t even bother, because of the application and because of the time frame,” he said.

    The Maryland law that prohibits carrying or transporting a gun without a permit — criminal law section 4-203 — does not apply to law enforcement officials, members of the armed forces or correctional officers, while on active assignment. It also allows exceptions for several situations including transporting an unloaded, holstered gun to or from the place of purchase, repair shop, sport shooting event, hunting and other destinations.

    Maryland law also includes provisions that prohibit possession of a firearm by anyone who has been convicted of certain crimes or is a fugitive from justice, a habitual drunkard or drug user, or the subject of a protective order, among other categories.

    Young said those restrictions are appropriate, but, like other right-to-carry advocates, he sees further discretionary power in issuing permits as a violation of the second amendment.

    “I would like to see Maryland ultimately be a ‘shall’ state, but I believe this is one step closer, in terms of being able to exercise your constitutional rights,” he said of his proposed legislation.

    Young said Washington County was the first county he had heard of that had expressed an interest in pursuing similar legislation, and said it might help the idea take hold in Annapolis.

    “The rest of Maryland does not usually think like the rural parts of Maryland (so) I’d say it’s an uphill battle, but you’ve got to start that battle somewhere,” he said.

    This is truly Amaizing me I hope it passes!

  3. #2
    Sounds like someone is using their head.

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