In what might be considered a remarkable continuation of recent official recognitions of the constitutional and natural right to obtain and maintain the relevant means to self-defense, a federal judge ruled Maryland’s highly restrictive firearms permit laws as unconstitutional today. District Judge Benson Legg wrote that “a citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” and that “the right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”
High praise from all individual rights advocates is due to Judge Legg in his frank and appropriate ruling. The state quickly decided to appeal the decision, naturally, so there is a significant possibility that the case may one day wind its way to the Supreme Court, as District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) eventually did. While I agree with the court’s opinion that requiring law abiding citizens to prove their respective “needs” to legally possess and carry a firearm for lawful purposes is inconsistent with individual freedom, I have no doubt that this will turn into a long, bitter fight amongst the several interested parties.
It will be interesting to observe how this issue is ultimately resolved and I am hopeful that once again reason and a healthy respect for individual liberty will prevail.