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Hogan’s Decision to Lift Gun Restrictions Roils State Politics

7/5/2022 | Josh Kurtz, Nene Narh-Mensah

Maryland Matters

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s decision Tuesday to lift restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in Maryland in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion left policymakers scrambling, and has created another potentially divisive political issue with Marylanders already voting in their party primaries.

One day after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb, Hogan (R) announced that he had directed the Maryland State Police, which issues gun licenses in the state, to suspend what’s known as the “good and substantial reason” standard for carrying concealed weapons. Hogan’s directive means Maryland gun owners no longer have to offer a justification for carrying concealed firearms.

The Supreme Court on June 23 struck down a New York law that made it illegal to carry a firearm in public without showing a special need for protection — effectively throwing out a similar Maryland statute.

At a news conference in Baltimore, another Democratic candidate, former U.S. Education Secretary John King, said Hogan, who is openly pondering a run for president in 2024, was motivated by political considerations.

“Unfortunately, Governor Hogan has focused on primary voters in Iowa rather than the needs of Marylanders,” he said.