Federal appeals court grants petition for full court to consider Maryland gun law


BALTIMORE (AP) — The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has granted Maryland’s petition for the full court to consider the state’s handgun licensing law that was struck down in November by a three-judge panel, Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown said Thursday.

The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that Maryland’s law requiring most citizens to obtain a license before acquiring a handgun was unconstitutional. Brown’s office requested the hearing for the full court’s review last month.

The November ruling found it was unconstitutionally restrictive for Maryland to require people to obtain a license before purchasing a handgun. The process of obtaining a license can take up to 30 days.

“I welcome the court’s decision to rehear this case and will continue to defend common-sense gun laws to protect Marylanders from these unnecessary and very preventable tragedies,” Brown said.

The underlying lawsuit was filed in 2016 as a challenge to a Maryland law requiring people to obtain a special license before purchasing a handgun. The law was passed in 2013 in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

By The Associated Press