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Woman’s defense in robbery leads to Maryland gun law debate

Craigslist is a common meeting ground for people looking to do business. Earlier this week, a Maryland couple turned to the web source in the hopes of buying a used car. They arranged a meeting with the supposed sellers of the vehicle, with money ready to trade. Based on reports from the incident, the supposed sellers of the vehicle didn’t really have a trade in mind.

What was meant to be a car deal turned into a robbery. The couple looking to buy the car found themselves being held up at gunpoint. One of the robbery victims had a gun of her own in her vehicle, which she used to allegedly scare the robbers away. Her reaction to the robbery has resulted in her facing weapons charges. This case has the community debating Maryland’s gun laws.

The woman in this Maryland case was the legally registered owner of her weapon. She apparently did not attempt to injure anyone with her gun, having merely fired multiple “warning shots” into the air. Yet, she is charged with having a handgun on her person and in her car, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm on a public street.

This case comes after a recent federal ruling regarding Maryland’s strict permit to carry law. As is, those who want a permit to carry a gun must prove that they have “good and substantial reason” to do so. Gun rights advocates argue that this law seems to go against the American way, which would assume that it would need to be proven why a person should not be allowed to carry a weapon. A judge ruled the current law unconstitutional in March, a decision that will be challenged on appeal.

While the recent robbery and the defendant’s armed response to it has inspired further conversation regarding gun laws, at this point what is relevant to her case is the current law that is in place. That law prohibits her from having had the gun in her car and person at the time of the attack.

When there is a development in her case, we will post an update.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Craigslist robbery victim arrested after firing on armed attackers,” Peter Hermann, June 20, 2012

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