Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan relaxed the state's rules for obtaining a concealed handgun permit following the U.S. Supreme Court decision. The action spurred a surge in Marylanders seeking concealed carry classes -- with some gun stores that offer firearms training saying classes are booked for the rest of the year.
On Tuesday, Hogan directed the Maryland State Police to suspend the "substantial reason" provision in the state rules for receiving a concealed-carry permit. Applicants must only provide a copy of their driver's license, background check, fingerprints, and firearms training certificate for approval.
The action comes two weeks after the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen ruling, where the Supreme Court's 6-to-3 conservative majority found that New York's concealed-carry law required applicants to show "proper cause" for obtaining a handgun was in violation of the Second Amendment.
Hogan's statement reads:
"Over the course of my administration, I have consistently supported the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms, while enacting responsible and common-sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
"Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the 'good and substantial reason' standard when reviewing applications for wear and carry permits. It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols.
"Today's action is in line with actions taken in other states in response to the recent ruling."
The governor's action has spurred huge demand for concealed carry classes. Gun stores across the Baltimore metro area tell us "the flood gates have opened," as law-abiding citizens who couldn't obtain a permit under "proper cause" now can.
One gun store in Towson, Maryland, said classes are booked until the end of the year, while another in Fredrick, Maryland, said the same thing.
Besides New York and Maryland, the Supreme Court's decision has flipped New Jersey. California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island could be next.
Concealed carry classes in states that just flipped are selling like hotcakes -- it might be hard to find a class well into 2023 because the capacity for firearms training courses is limited.