Even if you don’t live in Maryland, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about how dangerous Baltimore City is. Often making national news about violence, Baltimore stands as a testament to failed liberal policies, especially on the subject of gun control.

We often use Baltimore as a great example of how gun control has little to no effect on violent crime in the firearms world. This is ironic because Maryland law is a gun control advocate’s paradise, receiving an “A-“ from Giffords on their annual “Gun Law Scorecard.” Giffords also ranks Maryland 6th for “strong” gun laws in the country. Here in Maryland, we have the whole package; an assault weapons ban, licensing requirements, training requirements, a registry for handguns, and to cap it all off, Maryland is a “May Issue” state.

For those living in Free America, a “May Issue” state is where the burden is on the citizen to prove why they should be allowed to have a concealed handgun permit. You’d need to provide a good and substantial reason why you should be “allowed” to exercise your right. Often, “self-defense” is not an acceptable reason for the permit because these licensing schemes exist only as a gatekeeping method for the elite to keep firearms out of the hands of the average citizens that need them.  

On the other hand, in free states, the burden is on the state. Shall Issue makes better legal sense because, just like in the court system where your innocence is assumed, you can carry a firearm if you pass a background check.

So, with Baltimore having just gotten through one of its most violent months on record State Senator Justin Ready has proposed SB327, a bill clarifying that self-defense is a “good and substantial reason” and qualifies an individual to carry a handgun.

It’s simple logic that crime would decrease after allowing citizens to arm themselves responsibly. But it’s also backed by data. After Florida changed their laws in the 90s, it saw its murder rate fall from 36% above the national average to 4%. The safest states statistically in the country (according to actual data, not Giffords) are constitutional carry, where a permit to carry isn’t even required!

It’s also a fact that when times are tough, people want to take their defense into their own hands. Concealed Carry Permits skyrocketed in 2020/2021 along with gun sales due to the pandemic and civil unrest. It’s no wonder that Baltimore’s violent crime rate is so high when the populace can’t defend themselves due to the state’s unconstitutional policies. Maryland should be empowering its citizens to have agency over their lives and their self-defense.

If Sen. Ready manages to pass this bill, we’d fully expect violent crime in Baltimore to decrease drastically.