"Overwhelmingly, the violence in Baltimore is associated with ... guns sold illegally on the streets" as part of the drug trade, said Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. "Our focus has been on illegal guns, people who don't have gun permits. ... That's what our war has been against."
The other side, meanwhile, raises questions about the risks to permit holders from street criminals.
"Judge Legg's order will remove the loophole in Maryland law that the state has used to deny Maryland citizens the means to exercise the same natural right of self-defense enjoyed by citizens in most of the states," John H. Josselyn, legislative vice president for the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, said in a statement.
Arguments in the federal appeals case could be heard this year.
SOURCE: Government Accountability Office, July 2012 report
Concealed carry permits by the numbers
118 million: Number of handguns owned by U.S. citizens or legally for sale in 2010
8 million: Number of active concealed-carry permits in the U.S. as of Dec. 31
49: Number of states that allow people to carry concealed handguns as of March (Illinois does not, nor does the District of Columbia)
40: Number of "shall issue" gun carry permit states, including Maryland, in which authorities are required to issue permits to applicants who meet objective statutory criteria
9: Number of "may issue" states, which leave permit issuance up to the discretion of local authorities