MARYLAND

Maryland judge says handgun permit law unconstitutional

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(AP, ABC7) - A federal judge has ruled that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not limited to the home and Maryland's handgun permit law is unconstitutional.

In an opinion filed Monday, U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg says a requirement that residents show a "good and substantial reason" to carry a handgun infringes on people's rights.

Plaintiff Raymond Woollard obtained a handgun permit after fighting with an intruder in his home in 2002, but his renewal was denied in 2009 because he could not show he was subject to "threats occurring beyond his residence."

The Second Amendment Foundation--which brought the suit on Woollard's behalf--calls the ruling a major victory. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says it goes out of the norm and likely be reversed.

Those affected by the law include Angela Goree, who would like to be able to carry her handgun for self-defense.

“When you’re a business owner, people rob, steal, kill,” Goree said, speaking at the Maryland small arms range in Upper Marlboro. “I’m scared to travel with my money.”

But there are those who think it's a bad idea. Nicholas McDowell's godson Marcel Dessin was shot and killed in 2008. McDowell says the last thing the community needs is more people with guns.

“Being that I had someone murdered for no reason, I don't think everybody should have guns on their person like that,” McDowell says.

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