BALTIMORE – On September 28, 2023, U.S. District Court for Maryland Judge George Levi Russell III blocked specific parts of Maryland’s new gun law that limits certain areas where gun owners are allowed to carry.
The Maryland Gun Safety Act of 2023 prevents gun owners from taking firearms into schools, hospitals, government buildings, businesses selling alcohol or cannabis, stadiums, museums, racetracks, and video lottery facilities.
This preliminary injunction blocked enforcement of the provisions pertaining to where alcohol is sold, near public demonstrations, and in private establishments without the owner’s consent. This means gun owners will still be allowed to carry their weapons in bars, restaurants, demonstrations, and on private property without the owner’s consent as the lawsuit continues to progress. The rest of the law still went into effect as planned this past Sunday.
This injunction is a part of the ongoing lawsuit opposing the legislation. The lawsuit was filed by Susannah Kipke of Pasadena, the wife of Republican Anne Arundel Delegate Nicholaus Kipke, and the Maryland Rifle and Pistol Association.
House Republicans celebrated this announcement as they believe this bill is a “de facto ban on concealed carry in Maryland” and is unconstitutional.
“The Court has recognized that so many of the restrictions the far-left wing of the General Assembly tried to place on lawful, peaceful gun owners went way beyond the bounds of what is constitutionally allowed,” said House Minority Leader Jason Buckel in a press release. “During the debate on Senate Bill 1, the members of the House Republican Caucus repeatedly and exhaustively warned our Democratic colleagues that parts of this bill went too far.”
“This is a huge win for the Second Amendment and for all law-abiding firearms owners in Maryland,” said House Minority Whip Jesse Pippy. “This decision is also a vindication for the members of our Caucus who fought so hard to defeat this bill.”
Republicans have repeatedly expressed that they don’t believe this bill is the true answer to relieving crime in the state of Maryland, and that they should focus on bills that they believe will actually make a difference.
“Today’s injunction is a win for public safety in Maryland. Maryland Democrats continue to pass unconstitutional laws to strip away the rights of law-abiding citizens while trying to pass it off as public safety legislation. Maryland citizens demand real legislative efforts to reduce crime. Democrat leadership needs to abandon their political agenda and focus on saving our crime-ridden cities by getting career killers and rapists off the streets.” said Senate Minority Leader Steve Hershey.
“If Maryland Democrats are serious about addressing violent crime, they need to get serious about increasing and enforcing penalties for repeat, violent offenders and repealing ineffective laws that hamper the efforts of our law enforcement officers to remove illegal guns from our communities. Stop wasting time and resources going after lawful gun owners who are just trying to protect themselves and their families,” said Senate Minority Whip Justin Ready.
The Moore-Miller administration also provided their input on the decision, claiming that the court upheld many of the bill’s “common sense reforms.”
“Today the court upheld many of Senate Bill 1’s common sense reforms that Governor Moore has advocated for in order to make communities in Maryland safer from the gun violence epidemic that has plagued this state for far too long,” the administration stated in a press release. “The governor is committed to working vigorously with the state legislature, community leaders, and all advocates to continue to bring down the scourge of gun violence this state as seen. As a father, and as the chief executive of this state, this is an issue that is of the utmost importance to the governor and he will continue to fight for the necessary measures to protect Maryland’s children and make this state safer for everyone.”
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