ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed gun-control measures into law on Tuesday, and the National Rifle Association quickly filed a federal lawsuit against them.
The governor signed legislation approved by state lawmakers this year in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
The high court’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen last year ended a requirement similar to a Maryland law for people to demonstrate a particular need to get a license to carry a concealed gun in public.
One of the measures Moore signed Tuesday removes the “good and substantial reason” language from Maryland law that the court found unconstitutional in the Bruen case. But the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, also tightened gun laws to prevent someone from carrying a concealed handgun in certain areas.
“Gun violence is tearing apart the fabric of our communities, not just through mass shootings but through shootings that are happening in each of our communities far too often,” Moore, a Democrat, said at a bill-signing ceremony.
Moore said the measures he signed into law demonstrate that the state won’t back down from the challenges of addressing gun violence plaguing the nation.
“In Maryland, we refuse to say these problems are too big or too tough,” Moore said. “We will act, and that’s exactly what today represents.” One of the bills signed by the governor generally prohibits a person from wearing, carrying or transporting a gun in an “area for children or vulnerable adults,” like a school or health care facility. The new law, which takes effect Oct. 1, also prohibits a person from carrying a firearm in a “government or public infrastructure area,” or a “special purpose area,” which is defined as a place licensed to sell alcohol, cannabis, a stadium, museum, racetrack or casino.
The law also prohibits a person carrying a firearm from entering someone’s home or property, unless the owner has given permission. There are exemptions for law enforcement, security guards and members of the military.
The NRA contends in its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland that the state passed the legislation “in defiance of” court rulings that its gun-carry permitting law was unconstitutional.
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