BETHESDA, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Just hours after Governor Wes Moore signed a new gun control bill into law in Maryland, there was a flurry of lawsuits challenging it.
Maryland's gun control law was passed in direct response to the Supreme Court's decision last June affirming the Second Amendment right to carry a gun outside your home for self-defense.
This new law creates new rules for who can carry a gun in public and limits where they can be carried with a concealed carry permit.
Beginning Oct. 1, the Gun Safety Act of 2023 restricts carrying guns near places licensed to sell alcohol like restaurants. It also blocks carrying at stadiums, museums, amusement parks, and other public locations.
In addition to the NRA lawsuit, local guns rights group, Maryland Shall Issue, filed its federal lawsuit representing three permit holders. Mark Pennak heads the group.
He's been working with the legislature to pare down the original draft of the law that had more expansive restrictions on guns. But, he says, the final version still doesn't cut it, and targeting conceal carry permit holders is not the right way to reduce violence.
"Guns are inanimate objects," Pennak told FOX 5. "What people ought to be worried about is those who misuse them and that’s really the criminal element. And they quite frankly are not the least bit perturbed about the passage of SB-1 because they are already prohibitive persons, and they are already subject to severe penalties for carrying, and they do anyhow."
According to the Violence Policy Center, there were 24 instances of police killed in the line of duty by an individual with a concealed carry permit since 2007. There have also been mass shootings by concealed carry permit holders, including the Virginia Beach gunman who killed 12 people in 2019 before police killed him.
In the six months since the Supreme Court's Bruen decision came down on June 23 and the end of 2022, Maryland State Police received nearly 80,000 new applications for concealed carry permits. In 2021, they received just over 12,000 new applications.
That 650% jump is why the legislature passed this new law.