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Maryland gun law changes hit 11th-hour snag

The second amendment has long been up for debate, but still the right to bear arms remains firmly rooted in American history. Gun laws vary from state to state, and a gun law in Maryland was about to loosen recently when the U.S 4th Circuit Court of Appeals put the change on hold.

Since the July shooting in Aurora, Colorado, that killed 12 people, gun control laws are under extra scrutiny once again. Those who want more gun control point to violent incidents as proof that we need more regulation. Opponents maintain that criminals find a way to get guns, legally or not. Giving citizens the opportunity to carry guns simply evens the playing field, and may deter a crime of violence because theoretically, anyone could be carrying a weapon.

It was about to become easier for Maryland residents to legally carry concealed weapons in the state. But that change will be delayed until further arguments. Also, another looming change in the state's gun laws is being postponed. Residents who want guns will still have to prove that they have a "good and substantial" reason to own and carry a firearm.

Issuing a gun in Maryland is something decided by authorities who determine not only any potentially criminal background a person may have, but also requires that they have a "good and substantial reason" to own a gun. Critics of the current policy claim that these reasons should not have to be revealed, because owning a gun is a civil right.

Cases such as the incident in Aurora are indeed sad, but the average citizen that owns a gun has no intention of that type of deviant behavior. And there is no reason why one man's actions should be used as justification to deny people their Second Amendment rights.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Maryland gun permit expansion put on hold," Tricia Bishop, Aug. 1, 2012

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