The 2023 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session ended on Monday, April 10. This first session since Governor Wes Moore took office was also the first since the United States Supreme Court handed down its June of 2022 NYSR&P v. Bruen decision. The Bruen ruling impacted Maryland’s long-standing wear and carry permitting process, weakening the standards and allowing more guns in public. MPGV testified in 14 bill hearings and supported 9 pieces of legislation.
In the aftermath of Bruen, Maryland State Police received a significant spike in applications and granted 600% more permits in 2022 than the prior year. The increase of applications and resultant permits has continued through 2023. Substantial data shows that when states loosen permitting restrictions, crime rates rise by 13-15% over the first ten years. Concerned with the implications for Maryland from this alteration of Second Amendment jurisprudence, it was necessary to take a closer look at who gets to carry firearms in public spaces, and which public spaces are inappropriate.
In addition, data continues to show that our young people are being heavily impacted by gun violence. Firearms are the number one cause of death of youth in America and in Maryland. Alarmed by this trend for years, MPGV again prioritized the passage of Child Access Prevention legislation requiring gun owners to responsibly secure their firearms from youth and to be held accountable when they do not.