Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced its support on Thursday for a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland that challenges the state’s restrictions on carrying a handgun outside the home.
“Denying the majority of law-abiding citizens the right to carry a firearm outside of the home is unconstitutional,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The government cannot require citizens to prove a special need in order to exercise their fundamental rights.”
The lawsuit, Brian Kirk Malpasso and Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association v. William M. Pallozzi, challenges Maryland’s requirement that a citizen show “good and substantial” reason to obtain a concealed carry permit. Because of this requirement, Maryland residents must prove they are under some extraordinary imminent threat in order to be granted a permit. This effectively bans most citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights outside of their homes.
In 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. By denying Maryland residents the right to bear arms by carrying a firearm, the state is clearly violating the Court's holding in Heller.
“There is no reason why a law-abiding citizen should have to prove why they need to exercise a right before they are allowed to exercise it. We don't do that with any of the other provisions in the Bill of Rights. As long as a person is not prohibited from firearm ownership, they must be allowed to carry a firearm,” Cox concluded.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.