Maryland is approving 95 percent of concealed-carry gun permits, according to Gov. Larry Hogan, but the leader of an organization that backs expansion of the laws in the state is skeptical and says the Republican governor is using statistics that are old and don’t tell the whole story.
Hogan, appearing Tuesday morning on the C4 Show on WBAL radio, was asked about his willingness to allow more residents to legally carry firearms under the Maryland State Police wear-and-carry permit application process.
Hogan said he supports the Second Amendment and wants to “make it tougher” for criminals and the mentally ill to access guns.
“We have to deal within the law,” Hogan said. “But we’re trying to do what we can.”
“I think people will find it’s getting a little easier,” Hogan said.
Hogan said that “95 percent of people who apply” for concealed-carry permits submitted to the Maryland State Police are approved.
“Most people are able to get a concealed-carry permit,” Hogan said. “I’m not able the change the laws that we have are some of the toughest in the country and it hasn’t stopped 330 murders in the city.”
Maryland State Police were not immediately able to verify the claims.
Dan Blasberg, president of Maryland Shall Issue, an organization that supports expanded carry laws in Maryland, said he’s skeptical of the figure and has heard it before.
“That 95 percent number has been used over the past six years,” Blasberg said. “I don’t know that we’ve seen a change.”
Blasberg said his members report that state police frequently contact applicants to inform them that they will not meet the “good and substantial reason” standard within the law and offer to return the application and the $75 processing fee.
“They tell them they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting approved, and they send back the check and application,” Blasberg said, adding that he believes those returned applications don’t figure into the statistic Hogan cited. “You’re not denied, you’re not approved but you’re also not counted.”