Court Upholds Md. Handgun Permit Law


Court Upholds Md. Handgun Permit Law

Maryland's law requiring handgun permit applicants to demonstrate a “good and substantial reason” for carrying a weapon outside their own home or business is constitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a judge's ruling that the law violated the Second Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg said in his March 2012 ruling that the right to bear arms is not limited to the home, and that the right of self-defense was impermissibly burdened by Maryland's law. The appeals court said Legg's “trailblazing pronouncement” was wrong.

“The state has clearly demonstrated that the good-and-substantial reason requirement advances the objectives of protecting public safety and preventing crime because it reduces the number of handguns carried in public,” Judge Robert King wrote for the appeals court.

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler lauded the decision.

“Today's ruling reaffirms the considered view of the General Assembly that carrying handguns in public without a good and substantial reason poses unique safety risks that the state may address through sensible laws,” Gansler said in a statement.

Alan Gura, lawyer for the Baltimore County resident who challenged the law, said he will either ask the full appeals court to review the ruling or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It's not the end of the case by any means,” Gura said in a telephone interview. “My client would have preferred a different opinion and wants to push forward. It's disappointing that the Second Amendment was viewed with such disfavor.”

Vincent DeMarco, the national coordinator of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, said the ruling will bolster efforts by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley to reduce gun violence through a sweeping gun-control measure this year.

“This is a great decision in affirming Maryland's authority to protect our citizens from people who shouldn't be carrying guns in public,” said DeMarco, who has been lobbying hard for O'Malley's gun-control measure.

Earlier in the day, DeMarco joined Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and law enforcement officials at a news conference in Annapolis to show support for the measure, which would ban assault weapons, limit magazine rounds and create a new licensing requirement for handgun buyers. The measure has passed the state Senate. It awaits action in the House of Delegates.

The state's handgun permit law was challenged by Raymond Woollard, who obtained a permit after a Christmas Eve 2002 home invasion but was denied renewal in 2009. The law does not recognize a vague threat or general fear as an adequate reason for obtaining a permit, and the Maryland State Police review board that handles applications said Woollard failed to demonstrate any ongoing danger seven years after the home invasion.

Judges Albert Diaz and Andre Davis joined in the appeals court's decision.

Alex Lewis was at grocery store when Ravens tried to draft him


Alex Lewis was at grocery store when Ravens tried to draft him

Ravens offensive tackle Alex Lewis was tough to reach when the Ravens drafted him.

Lewis was at the grocery store when the Ravens called. That became a problem. The cell phone signal was bad between Lewis and general manager Ozzie Newsome, and Newsome didn’t have much time, with another pick to make soon.

Newsome finally gave up trying to speak to Lewis, and told coach John Harbaugh to call Lewis’ house.

“So I get on the phone with his mom, and I’m going, ‘Is Alex there?’", Harbaugh told reporters when the draft ended.

“And she goes, ‘No, he’s not. May I ask who is calling?’ I’m like, ‘It’s John Harbaugh, with the Ravens.’ She goes, ‘Oh, well how I can I help you?’ I said, ‘Well, we were hoping that Alex would become a Baltimore Raven, and we’re thinking about drafting him. Is he there right now?’ (She said), ‘No, he just stepped out and he went to the store, but he’ll be back in a little while.’ I’m just going, ‘He’s at the store! What do we do now?’ She goes, ‘Now who is this team again?’

Lewis returned from his grocery run a short time later, spoke to Harbaugh, and all was well. It made for a draft experience the Ravens and Lewis won’t soon forget.

Redskins make Jordan Reed second-highest paid tight end in NFL


Redskins make Jordan Reed second-highest paid tight end in NFL

The Redskins have locked up another key member of the team for the prime seasons of his career. The team has announced that Jordan Reed has signed a contract extension.

According to multiple media reports the deal is worth about $50 million over five years. Reed, a third-round pick in 2013, is scheduled to make $1.6 million this year on the final season of his four-year rookie contract.

His new contract will make him the second highest paid tight end in the NFL behind Jimmy Graham of the Seahawks.

Reed had a breakout season in 2015, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.

Orioles' Kevin Gausman wants to continue success against Yankees


Orioles' Kevin Gausman wants to continue success against Yankees

Tonight's Game: New York Yankees (9-16) vs. Baltimore Orioles (15-11), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m. 

Starting pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 2.87) vs. Kevin Gausman (0-1, 2.45)

Keys to the Game:

Will the Orioles bounce back from their punchless Wednesday night?

Can Gausman continue his success against the Yankees? He's 3-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 games against them.

News and Notes:

Dating back to Aug. 2014, Gausman has won just three of 26 starts. 

Tanaka is 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA in four starts against the Orioles. He has never pitched in Baltimore. 

Current Orioles are batting .212 against Tanaka. 

Manny Machado has 13 doubles in 26 games.