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Maryland Court Upholds Gun Laws

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Maryland's top court has upheld the state's handgun laws, even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down gun laws in the District as unconstitutional. The Maryland law restricts where state residents can have guns.

The case before the Maryland Court of Appeals revolves around Charles Francis Williams Jr., a man from Prince George's County who bought his handgun legally but was arrested outside his home for unlawful gun possession because he had not gotten a permit for the weapon.

Williams challenged his conviction based on two recent Supreme court decisions that extended Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms to individuals and to the states: District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.

But in a unanimous statement, the Court of Appeals ruled the state's law restricting guns outside the home without a permit does not conflict with those decisions, saying the Supreme Court specifically emphasized the importance of applying Second Amendment rights inside the home.

Williams was convicted in Oct. 2008 and sentenced to three years in prison with all but one year suspended. His sentence has been on hold pending his appeal.


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