ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–Controversial legislation. It could soon be easier for you to get a gun. Some Maryland lawmakers want to add self-defense as a reason to issue gun permits.
Tracey Leong explains the big changes they’re proposing.
Lawmakers are pushing for a change, claiming the current gun laws are outdated and don’t serve the public.
Maryland is known to have some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
“We’re going to get some of these crazy laws off the books, we’re going to restore rights and we’re going to make this a safer place to live,” said Del. Kevin Hornberger.
Some lawmakers are now working to wipe out these laws.
Leong: “Senator, can you tell me why you want to make changes to the current gun laws?”
“I think it’s really important. Maryland puts a lot of initiative on guarding money. Most of the people that have hand gun permits have it because they carry cash, yet you can’t get a handgun permit because you feel like you’re in need or your family is in danger. And to me, the fact that money is more important than family is ludicrous,” said Senator Wayne Norman, District 35.
Under current law, wear and carry permits are issued to an adult who has a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against danger.
This includes being a business owner, armored car guard or for personal protection with documented threats.
The change would include self defense, meaning more people could get gun permits.
“It would just be helpful to know you have a handgun if something happens. The police can’t be everywhere,” said Hunter Smith.
But not everyone agrees with the changes, some believe it should stay as is.
Vincent DeMarco is President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence. He’s afraid changing the laws could have dangerous consequences.
“You don’t want to have too many people out there on the streets with guns. Maybe a car or little incident turns into a killing. We want to make sure Marylanders are safe. And that’s why the state police has had this authority since 1972, and its working, and we’re confident it’s going to keep working,” DeMarco said.
Maryland is currently one of the least armed states and this bill for change has bipartisan support.
If the measure passes, the change would go into effect this October.