In a move that adds further constraints to an already stringent regulatory environment, Maryland is set to impose new restrictions on gun owners as of October 1. The state, known for having some of the most rigorous gun laws in the nation, will now tighten its grip on where permitted gun owners can carry their firearms.
Governor Wes Moore signed the new law in May, introducing significant limitations on the permissible locations for carrying firearms. Among the affected areas are most public spaces, museums, shopping centers, hospitals, schools, and playgrounds, with the exception of cases where explicit permission is granted between the parties involved.
Dave Folderauer, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore County, expressed concerns about the practical implications of the new restrictions. He pointed out that while individuals can still pump gas in the parking lots of gas stations, entering the establishments to pay would be considered a violation of the law. Folderauer emphasized the potential challenges for gun owners in responding to situations promptly, stating, “If there’s anything going on, there’s no way to take action without running back to your vehicle.”
Notably, the new law does not impose such limitations on sworn police officers, but it does impact retired officers and other permit-holding gun owners. Clyde Boatright, President of Maryland’s Fraternal Order of Police, is actively challenging the constitutionality of the new law. Boatright argues that the legislation unfairly targets legal gun owners rather than addressing the issue of illegal firearm possession.
Boatright advocates for a shift in focus toward targeting criminal elements rather than placing additional restrictions on law-abiding citizens. “If we stop targeting regular citizens and go after bad people, then we’ll start to see a change in the crime fight,” Boatright asserted.
As the implementation date approaches, the debate over the balance between public safety and individual rights is likely to intensify, with gun owners, law enforcement officials, and legal experts closely monitoring the effects and potential legal challenges to the new restrictions in Maryland.