When you think gun rights, one of the last states which probably comes to mind is Maryland. Their 2013 Firearm Safety Act may not be quite as bad as the latest laws on the books in New York and Oregon, but it’s still pretty bad. But now Maryland has joined the ranks of states with newly elected Republican governors and Second Amendment supporters are lining up in the streets – literally – in the hope that the new executive will provide some relief.

At a rally outside the State House, gun rights advocates vowed to wage what they acknowledged would be a protracted fight in support of bills that the Democrats, who control both chambers of the legislature, insist are dead on arrival.

“We are in this together, and we will fight to the end,” said Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell ­(R-Calvert)…

“We’re not going to do anything to repeal the legislation that was passed before,” Hogan reiterated Tuesday.

Instead, Republicans have introduced about 20 bills that would loosen gun restrictions — relaxing requirements for external gun safety locks, for example, or permitting school police to carry guns on any Baltimore City school campus.

Governor Hogan sounds like he’s tempering expectations with reality and he realizes that there are limits to what he can do as long as Democrats retain control of both chambers in the legislature. The chances of a full repeal of the Firearm Safety Act are virtually nil and the other, Republican sponsored bills to chip away at the restrictions may never make it out of committee. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing he can do. Hogan will have the opportunity to appoint a new state police superintendent, and that person will apparently have the opportunity to change some of the rules regarding who can qualify for a concealed carry permit.

The big problem with Maryland is that too much of it is essentially a suburb of Washington and the liberals run wild there. Actually, it’s still something of a mystery how Hogan wound up getting elected at all. But even if all he manages to do is put in a more Constitution minded police superintendent, that’s at least something. And getting that message across is the first step in trying to win the battle of the hearts and minds in the hopes of seeing a new election cycle bring more conservatives into the legislature. Sometimes progress just takes time and patience, difficult though that may be.

Maryland is turning out to be yet another excellent example of how the real battle for power takes place far from the presidential election or even the House and Senate. Real change takes place at the state and local level. Winning more governorships and the control of state legislatures is how the sort of change Maryland is working on takes place. Don’t skip the midterms or the odd year elections and don’t leave the down ballot lines blank. Nothing changes unless you decide to change it.