Showing posts with label handgun laws. Show all posts
Showing posts with label handgun laws. Show all posts

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maryland's Hand Gun Laws Upheld By Md. Court of Appeals

BALTIMORE - Maryland's highest court has ruled the state's handgun laws are still constitutional despite a 2008 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that gutted gun statutes in D.C.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed a gun possession charge levied in Prince George's County against Charles F. Williams, Jr.

Williams said the state's gun regulations violated his right to "keep and carry arms" under the Second Amendment, and based his argument in part on the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

The high court in that case said barring a person from possessing a handgun in the home is unconstitutional. Williams, according to the opinion, said the Second Amendment establishes the "right of persons to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes."

Williams also based his argument on another recent gun decision by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago. But the appeals court unanimously rejected his claims and upheld his conviction.

"The defendant wished to extend the Second Amendment beyond what the Supreme Court held in the Heller case -- that a person has an individual right to possess a gun in their home and for self-defense," says Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who argued the state's case before the appellate court last year.

"What this defendant said is, 'You shouldn't convict me for toting a gun on the streets of Prince George's County, because I have an individual right to carry a gun outside of the home,'" Gansler says.

The court specifically said the Maryland law governing Williams' conviction falls outside of the Second Amendment's scope, because it bars having a handgun in public.

The judges also said Williams did not have standing to challenge aspects of the state's gun permit statutes "because he had failed to even apply for a permit to wear, carry, or transport a handgun."

Gansler says no other state has changed its gun laws based on the Supreme Court's decision regarding the District.