(Bloomberg) -- The National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm sued to block Maryland from enforcing new gun-control measures that enhance requirements for obtaining concealed-carry permits and restrict firearms in sensitive areas including school grounds and hospitals.
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The suit was filed in federal court in Baltimore on Tuesday, hours after Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed the bills into law. It’s the latest clash between a gun-rights group and a Democratic-led state following the June 2022 US Supreme Court ruling that called many such statutes into question.
The Maryland measures were intended to update the state’s gun-control laws following the decision by the Supreme Court, but the NRA said the law has gone from bad to worse.
“Through these bills, Maryland replaced one blatantly unconstitutional licensing regime with another blatantly unconstitutional licensing regime,” the NRA said in the complaint. “The bills contain unconstitutional restrictions on where and how ordinary, law-abiding Maryland citizens with a carry permit may exercise their right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”
There are nearly 400 million guns in private ownership in the US, which suffers a disproportionately high rate of firearms deaths, including a plague of mass shootings. Moore has accused the NRA of ignoring the violence that results from having more guns in public.
“The NRA thinks more guns on the street is the solution when that is actually the problem,” the governor said in a statement. “Everyone believes these common sense bills will protect Marylanders, and protect the rights of legal gun owners. We’re saving lives while they are politically posturing.”
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Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates gun-safety measures, is backed by Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP.
The case is Kipke v. Moore, 23-cv-01293, US District Court, District of Maryland.
(Updates with comment from governor’s office in sixth paragraph.)
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