Maryland Shall Issue


On July 5th, 2022, Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement:

“Over the course of my administration, I have consistently supported the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms, while enacting responsible and common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

“Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits. It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols.

“Today’s action is in line with actions taken by other states in response to the recent ruling.”

In response, the Maryland State Police provided this advisory

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division is in the process of updating the Licensing Portal to reflect these changes. Until these updates are complete, applicants submitting a Wear and Carry Permit application are directed to select “Personal Protection / Category Not Listed Above” as their “Handgun Permit Category”. Applicants are not required to attach documents to the “PERSONAL PROTECTION DOCUMENTATION” section on the “Upload Documents” page of the Wear and Carry Permit application.

Additional information and a link to the Licensing Portal, can be found on the Maryland State Police website. Maryland State Police Licensing Division.

We welcome the Governor's order and the decision to comply with the Supreme Court's decision in Bruen. For the first time in decades, ordinary responsible, law-abiding citizens in Maryland will have their Second Amendment right for self-defense outside the home respected. We stress that permit holders, nationwide, are the most law-abiding persons there are, with crime rates far below that of commissioned police officers. The Second Amendment is not a threat to the public. It protects the right of self-defense and that protection is fully consistent with public safety.

For everything on how to apply for a Maryland Wear and Carry permit, check out our in-depth guide HERE.

We are pleased and gratified that Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement will no longer be enforced. MSI has pushed for that result for as long as it has existed and the Supreme Court has now confirmed that carry outside the home by responsible, law-abiding citizens is a fundamental constitutional right. At last, Marylanders will be treated like people in other "shall issue" jurisdictions, like the residents of 43 other States and the District of Columbia.

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"Good and Substantial Reason" is Unconstitutional

 

msilogo ladyjusticesm

6/24/2022

On June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen, striking down as unconstitutional New York's  "proper cause" requirement for issuance of a permit to carry a handgun in public. That decision is directly applicable to Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for the issuance of Maryland carry permits. MD Code, Public Safety, 5-306(b)(6)(ii). As Bruen now holds, the Maryland State Police (MSP) may not require any "good and substantial reason" before issuing a permit. The decision makes clear that law-abiding, responsible adults have a constitutional right to protect themselves beyond their homes with a handgun, which is the "quintessential self-defense" weapon, as the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). While we believe that the Court's holding in Bruen is clear, MSI is currently a party in Call v. Jones, which is a federal court challenge to the "good and substantial reason" requirement. This case is currently before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and was being held in abeyance (on pause) pending the outcome of Bruen. Now that Bruen has been decided, that case will proceed. Indeed, the Fourth Circuit has just issued an order setting a briefing schedule in that appeal.

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Maryland Wear and Carry Permits

 

  handguniniwbholster

Last updated 9/18/2022

* * *

    On June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court rendered its opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen, striking down as unconstitutional New York's "proper cause" requirement for issuance of a permit to carry a handgun. The Court confirmed what we've long believed to be true; that there exists a right to carry a handgun for self-defense beyond one's home. New York's "proper cause" requirement is indistinguishable from Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a carry permit. The opinion leaves no doubt that Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement is unconstitutional:

The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 780 (plurality opinion). We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.

New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

-New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ___ (2022)

"Good and substantial reason" is unconstitutional and is therefore unenforceable. Full stop.

    On July 5th, 2022, Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement:

“Over the course of my administration, I have consistently supported the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms, while enacting responsible and common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

“Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits. It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols.

“Today’s action is in line with actions taken by other states in response to the recent ruling.”

    In response, the Maryland State Police provided this advisory

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division is in the process of updating the Licensing Portal to reflect these changes. Until these updates are complete, applicants submitting a Wear and Carry Permit application are directed to select “Personal Protection / Category Not Listed Above” as their “Handgun Permit Category”. Applicants are not required to attach documents to the “PERSONAL PROTECTION DOCUMENTATION” section on the “Upload Documents” page of the Wear and Carry Permit application.

Additional information and a link to the Licensing Portal, can be found on the Maryland State Police website. Maryland State Police Licensing Division.

    We welcome the Governor's order and the decision to comply with the Supreme Court's decision in Bruen. For the first time in decades, ordinary responsible, law-abiding citizens in Maryland will have their Second Amendment right for self-defense outside the home respected. We stress that permit holders, nationwide, are the most law-abiding persons there are, with crime rates far below that of commissioned police officers. The Second Amendment is not a threat to the public. It protects the right of self-defense and that protection is fully consistent with public safety.

     Separately, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that the "good and substantial reason" requirement is unconstitutional under the 2nd Amendment. Find their opinion HERE. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has also vacated and remanded MSI's challenge to MD's requirements, Call v. Jones to the lower court to be dismissed as moot. You can read the joint motion filed by plaintiffs and the State of Maryland HERE.

Read below for more in-depth information on how Maryland Wear and Carry Permits work.

* * *

    Maryland has a blanket ban on the carriage and transport of handguns within the state, with exceptions. One of those exceptions is for those who've been issued a license, known as a Wear and Carry Permit, which is required to be able to lawfully carry a handgun concealed or openly in public for self-defense (concealed and open carry are both lawful with a permit). This permit is described in State law under Maryland Public Safety Article §§ 5-301 through 5-314 and is issued by the Maryland State Police (MSP) through its Licensing Division (MSPLD). The Licensing Division follows its own Standard Operating Procedures for how permits are issued and managed. Applicants for a permit must satisfy several requirements before being considered qualified. The process typically takes between 60 to 90 days for most applicants. On June 23rd, the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ___ (2022), finding among other things that schemes that require those who wish to carry a handgun in public demonstrate a need to authorities are unconstitutional under the 2nd and 14th Amendments. Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a permit to carry a handgun is one such scheme.

    Of course, as Bruen now holds, the State Police may not require any "good and substantial reason" before issuing a permit. The decision makes clear that law-abiding, responsible adults have a constitutional right to protect themselves with a handgun, which is the "quintessential self-defense" weapon, as the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). While we believe that the Court's holding in Bruen is clear, MSI is currently a party in Call v. Jones, which is a challenge in the federal court system against Maryland's permitting scheme. This case is currently before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and was being held in abeyance (on pause) pending the outcome of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. Now that Bruen has been decided, that case will proceed. Maryland need only announce that it will comply with Bruen. If Maryland refuses to follow Bruen, the litigation in Call is designed to force that result upon Maryland through an injunction. We are hoping that Maryland will yield and not force the issue. But, if they do, we will not hesitate to enforce the Court's ruling in Bruen in Maryland.

    Maryland's other requirements for a carry permit are not currently directly affected by the decision in Bruen. While Maryland cannot require a "good and substantial reason" for permits, its training, fingerprinting, and background check requirements for a carry permit are still the law. NYSRPA did NOT convert Maryland (or any other state) into a permitless state. Carry permits issued by Maryland are still required by law to carry a handgun in public. Maryland still does not currently recognize carry permits issued by any other state.

Not an MSI member yet? Join here!

Who is Eligible for a Permit?

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division (MSPLD) issues permits to applicants in accordance with Md. Public Safety Art. § 5-306. Generally, this is to all responsible, law-abiding persons not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing firearms (with exceptions) and of at least 21 years of age and who complete the state's requirements. The right to carry a handgun for self-defense is all the reason one needs to apply for an unrestricted permit. Permit applicants must submit completed applications through the Maryland State Police Licensing Portal that include proof of training or exemption, fingerprints, passport-style photo, and $75 non-refundable fee. Use of the portal does require one to have an email address. Maryland does issue permits to residents of other states, but they must be trained (or training exempt) by a MSP Qualified Handgun Instructor and must be LiveScan fingerprinted by an entity in Maryland.

Md. Public Safety Art. § 5-306(a)

(a) Subject to subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary shall issue a permit within a reasonable time to a person who the Secretary finds:
 (1) is an adult;
 (2)(i) has not been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than 1 year has been imposed; or
     (ii) if convicted of a crime described in item (i) of this item, has been pardoned or has been granted relief under 18 U.S.C. § 925(c);
 (3) has not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;
 (4) is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless the habitual use of the controlled dangerous substance is under legitimate medical direction;
 (5) except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, has successfully completed prior to application and each renewal, a firearms training course approved by the Secretary that includes:
  (i) 1. for an initial application, a minimum of 16 hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor; or
       2. for a renewal application, 8 hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor;
  (ii) classroom instruction on:
      1. State firearm law;
      2. home firearm safety; and
      3. handgun mechanisms and operation; and
  (iii) a firearms qualification component that demonstrates the applicant's proficiency and use of the firearm; and
 (6) based on an investigation:
  (i) has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person's possession of a handgun a danger to the person or to another; and
  (ii) has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.

Applicants under the age of 30 face extra scrutiny at § 5-306(c)

(c) An applicant under the age of 30 years is qualified only if the Secretary finds that the applicant has not been:
 (1) committed to a detention, training, or correctional institution for juveniles for longer than 1 year after an adjudication of delinquency by a juvenile court; or
 (2) adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court for:
  (i) an act that would be a crime of violence if committed by an adult;
  (ii) an act that would be a felony in this State if committed by an adult; or
  (iii) an act that would be a misdemeanor in this State that carries a statutory penalty of more than 2 years if committed by an adult.

Training

Maryland Wear and Carry Permit Training must be completed before submission of an application. Under Md. Public Safety Art. § 5-306 and COMAR Sec. 29.03.02.05, these classes must consist of material on state (Maryland) firearm law, home firearm safety, handgun mechanisms and operation, and a firearms qualification component that demonstrates the applicant’s proficiency and use of the firearm. Unless otherwise exempt from the training requirements, an applicant must get this training from an MSP Qualified Handgun Instructor and complete a 16-hour training course for an initial application with a minimum 70% accuracy rating by the applicant during the live fire portion of the class. These classes often run anywhere from $250 to $400 and up. An 8-hour course will be required upon renewal of an issued permit. Maryland permits are valid for two years for the first permit and for three years for renewals.

Who is exempt from the training?
Md. Public Safety Art. § 5-306(b)

(b) An applicant for a permit is not required to complete a certified firearms training course under subsection (a) of this section if the applicant:
 (1) is a law enforcement officer or a person who is retired in good standing from service with a law enforcement agency of the United States, the State, or any local law enforcement agency in the State;
 (2) is a member, retired member, or honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard;
 (3) is a qualified handgun instructor; or
 (4) has completed a firearms training course approved by the Secretary.

The Maryland State Police have a list of Instructors HERE, but we also encourage you to visit our 2A-Friendly Businesses section for available lessons from entities that support MSI by becoming Corporate Members. Click on the "Firearms Instruction" tab.

Wear and Carry Permit Course of Fire (See Basic Practical Handgun Course on page 3)
Certified Qualification Score Sheet

Qualified Handgun Instructors are defined in Md. Public Safety Art. § 5-101(q) as:

(q) “Qualified handgun instructor” means a certified firearms instructor who:
 (1) is recognized by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training commissions;
 (2) has a qualified handgun instructor license issued by the Secretary; or
 (3) has a certification issued by a nationally recognized firearms organization.

They are further described in Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 29, Subtitle 3, Chapter 29.03.01, §§ 29.03.01.37 - 29.03.01.41.

A current firearms instructor who'd like to be become an MSP Qualified Handgun Instructor and provide the Wear and Carry Course can submit their credentials through the MSP's website HERE. Once a certificate is returned by the MSP, the instructor will be able to provide Maryland courses and will be listed publicly on their website.

Applications for Wear and Carry Permits can only be submitted online via the Maryland State Police Licensing Portal. Applications can be started at any time, but only submitted once all requirements are fulfilled and the application complete. All applicants must have a valid email address, as the State Police do not accept paper applications. Here are the steps:

  • As in the Training section, complete training or prepare proof of training exemption (scanned copies of documents in filetypes .pdf, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .doc, and .docx)
  • Acquire LiveScan fingerprinting for a Wear and Carry Permit (AKA Handgun Permit) Application - Prints for other purposes (i.e., HQL) do not work
    Fingerprints are valid for one year after they're taken

    From MSP's Fingerprinting Page:
    Wear and Carry: 
    Below is the information that you should provide to the LiveScan technician for fingerprinting:

    Agency Authorization Number: 9400082484
    Agency ORI Number: MDMSP6000
    Reason Fingerprinted: MD Public Safety Article, Section 5-305

  • Make an account on the State Police's Licensing Portal
  • Tab over to "HGP Applications" and select the green "START NEW HGP APPLICATION" button
    Start New HGP Application

  • Under "Handgun Permit Category," select "Personal Protection / Category Not Listed Above," then underneath select which type of application this is (New, Renewal, Modification, etc... MSP describes the application types HERE)
    HGP Category

    Application Type

  • Complete the "Application Questionnaire" in full. At Question 15, "Reason for a Handgun Permit," enter "Self-Defense."
    Question 15 Reason for a Handgun Permit

  • Continue filling out the application in full (including requested references)
    • Contact information of current spouse, significant other, co-inhabitant, or most recent partner within the last five years
    • Contact information of at least three unrelated references who've known the applicant for at least two years
  • Provide LIVESCAN fingerprints TCN/PCN code (The prints MUST be for a Wear and Carry Permit (AKA Handgun Permit) and from an authorized entity by the MD Dept. of Public Safety and Correctional Services. LiveScan prints for other purposes do not suffice and the prints are not currently interchangeable.)
  • At the "Documents" section, upload your passport-style photo, and certificate of training completion or exemption
  • There is no need to upload documentation substantiating "self-defense"
  • Complete the application, pay the required $75 fee, and submit.

NOTE: For any applicant who has not received their account activation/confirmation email or their forgot password email in the Licensing Portal: Click "LOG IN" on the Portal home page and then click "FORGOT PASSWORD?" on the Account Log In page. Then enter your email address and click "SUBMIT". You should receive your respective email shortly thereafter.

Currently, applications are being processed within a few weeks, but the State Police may take up to and could exceed 90 days before deciding on whether or not to issue a permit. Md. Public Safety § 5-306(a) states that the Maryland State Police shall issue a permit within a "reasonable timeframe" and § 5-312(a)(2) provides:

(2) A person whose application for a permit or renewal of a permit is not acted on by the Secretary within 90 days after submitting the application to the Secretary may request a hearing before the Office of Administrative Hearings by filing a written request with the Secretary and the Office of Administrative Hearings.

In their Frequently Asked Questions section of the Wear and Carry Permit page, the State Police say:

Please note, wear and carry permit applications can take up to 90 days to process. If your application has been submitted for more than 90 days, please contact the Handgun Permit Unit for further instructions.

Also, Processing of Handgun Permit Applications SOP 29-19-004 at .05 Procedures, A. Responsibilities 3. states:

The Handgun Permit Unit personnel will:
a. ensure all permits are issued in accordance with: 18 U.S.C. §922(g) (1-9), Annotated Code of Maryland, Public Safety Article, Title 5, Sub-Title 3, Annotated Code of Maryland, Public Safety Article §5-133 and the Code of Maryland Regulations, Title 29.03.02.
b. within three business days of receipt, applicable applications will be forwarded to the Administrative Investigation Unit, to conduct a background investigation, as required in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Public Safety Article, §5-306.
c. ensure all applicants meet the requirements outlined in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Public Safety Article, §5-306.
d. ensure approval or denial of all initial applications within 90 days of the receipt of an accepted application.
e. ensure approval or denial of all renewal applications within 45 days of the receipt of an accepted application.
f. track all applications, initial and renewal, to ensure issuance within 90 days or 45 days respectively.
g. act as the liaison between the Licensing Division, the Handgun Permit Review Board* and the Office of Administrative Hearings.
h. maintain all records, and track all decisions issued by the Handgun Permit Review Board* and the Office of the Administrative Hearings.

*The Handgun Permit Review Board no longer exists. It was legislatively repealed in 2018.

Handgun Qualification License Issuance

If you do not already have a Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL), the license Maryland requires to be able to purchase handguns, you can request one from the MSP at no added cost and without further training after being issued a Wear and Carry Permit. The State Police have a separate portal for applying for the HQL here: https://emdsp.mdsp.org/egov/Home.aspx.

Create an account and then when applying, make the following selections pictured below and click "Start Application"

hqlfromcarrypermitexemption

On 7/22/2022, the State Police issued an update on their efforts to meet the increased demand for permits and address many of the common problems encountered with incomplete applications. 

Permit Restrictions

As of 7/7/2022, any restrictions printed on the reverse side of previously-issued permits are not in effect and are no longer being issued prospectively. See Maryland State Police Licensing Division Advisory LD-HPU-22-003 "W&C Permit Modifications".

MSI recommends applying for a $10 modification for a card explicitly without restrictions. Carry permit holders are still exceedingly rare in Maryland and law enforcement agencies do not regularly encounter them. Being wrongfully detained is still a risk.

For those who have been recently disapproved of a permit for lack of "good and substantial reason" and are within the time frame to request an Informal Review with the State Police, do so and again, state you are seeking it for "Self-Defense."

For those denied outright by the MSP, or if a permit contains unacceptable restrictions, options are available to seek the issuance or modification of a permit. Within 10 days of denial, one must appeal in writing to either the MSP to ask for an "Informal Review" or to the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Appeals may also be taken to the OAH within 10 days of any decision of the MSP after an Informal Review.

Maryland State Police Informal Review
The MSP will allow applicants to present any further information regarding their denial to more senior management within the Licensing Division. Unless provided significant new information at that time, it is unlikely MSP's initial decision is affected.

Maryland OAH Formal Appeal
OAH hearings are run by Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) and are quasi-formal trials with rules and procedures. Additional evidence can be submitted at these hearings. In an OAH proceeding, the focus is on whether the MSP’s decision should be sustained and the applicant bears the burdens of proof and persuasion. The ALJ gives deference to the MSP’s determination. An attorney is not legally required but is necessary as a practical matter. Decisions of the ALJ can be appealed to circuit court.

Places and Times In Which Firearms Can Not Be Legally Carried by a Permit Holder

AdditionallyMd. Criminal Law § 4-209 gives local jurisdictions narrow authority to create their own prohibitions on where firearms may be carried or possessed and by whom. Check local jurisdictions' codes for any restrictions. Permit holders should be aware of Md. Criminal Law § 4-206, which guides how law enforcement officers may determine whether an individual is armed legally.

Unlawfully carrying a handgun in violation of Md. Criminal Law § 4-203(a)(1)(i) is also a strict liability crime, which means there is no requirement that the individual knowingly or willfully carried in violation of the law. For more on this, read our article on the recent Maryland Court of Appeals case Lawrence v. State HERE.

Reciprocity

Maryland does not currently recognize the permits of any other state or American territory. Md. Code Public Safety § 5-303 states:

A person shall have a permit issued under this subtitle before the person carries, wears, or transports a handgun.

Put simply, unless one has a permit issued by the Maryland State Police, they cannot carry a handgun legally in MD (not counting law enforcement or those issued a permit under LEOSA). Residents of other states can apply for a Maryland permit no differently than Maryland residents, however. Applicants must be trained (or training exempt) by a MSP Qualified Handgun Instructor and must be LiveScan fingerprinted by an entity in Maryland. Many states do recognize Maryland permits and some states will issue their permit to a Maryland resident who holds a Maryland Wear and Carry permit. See the HandgunLaw.us page for Maryland for more information on reciprocity.

History

It was not until 1809 that Maryland prohibited any carry of weapons, but that legislation criminalized only the carrying of a weapon “with the intent feloniously to assault any person.” Archives of Maryland 570:94. Any carry, concealed or open, with no permit required, was still legal as long as it was without felonious intent. In 1831, in reaction to the Nat Turner Rebellion in Virginia, Maryland enacted a statewide law that requires free blacks (only) to obtain a license from a local court for possession or carry (open or concealed) of firearms. Archives of Maryland 213:448. Maryland did not ban any type of carry for other citizens until 1866, when it banned concealed carry, but still allowed open carry. Archives of Maryland 389:468-9. This law was likely passed as a result of the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, and the abolition of slavery at the 1864 Maryland Constitutional Convention. Since blacks could no longer be directly legislated against, the 1831 law was dropped and the concealed carry prohibition was made general – but could be selectively enforced.

In 1884, Maryland changed its law to once again permit concealed carry, providing that concealed carry was illegal only when arrested and charged with another crime. Archives of Maryland 390:522-3. That approach likewise allowed discriminatory enforcement. The most likely reason for this enactment was that it was thought that 1866 total ban was unconstitutional. In 1904, after more than 300 years of legal concealed carry for non-black Maryland citizens, with no permit required, concealed carry is again made illegal in Maryland, but this time with the exception for “carrying such weapon as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.” Archives of Maryland 209:4025-6. The exception again allowed selective enforcement, while keeping it from being a total ban. It was not until 1972 that open or concealed carry of handguns was banned without a permit from the State Police. Archives of Maryland 708:48-51. This law was likely a reaction to the Baltimore Race Riots of 1968, and is strikingly similar in its licensing requirements to the 1831 legislation that licensed carry by freed blacks.

The common thread that runs throughout this history is racist fears. This history matters legally because, as discussed above, the appropriate test under the Second Amendment is one of text, history and tradition. That is precisely the test adopted by the Supreme Court in Bruen. Maryland’s history is typical of gun control nationwide. See Clayton E. Cramer, The Racist Roots of Gun Control, 4 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 17, 20 (1995) (“The various Black Codes adopted after the Civil War required blacks to obtain a license before carrying or possessing firearms or bowie knives .... These restrictive gun laws played a part in provoking Republican efforts to get the Fourteenth Amendment passed.”). That reality was also noted in Heller, 554 U.S. at 614–16, and by Justice Thomas in concurring in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. at 844-847. That is a legacy of shame. Law-abiding persons of all races, not just the privileged few, should be allowed to protect themselves legally.

You can read the bill file from the 1972 handgun control legislation that ushered in Maryland's modern restrictions on carrying handguns in public HERE.

*The following groups were the only typically issued permits under Maryland's unconstitutional "good and substantial reason" scheme. These restrictions and requirements are no longer in effect.*

Businesses Owners and Certain Endorsed Employees
Business owners were typically issued permits upon demonstrating that they operate an active business. This usually requires the applicant to have a business bank account and can show that it is conducting business transactions and deposits. An applicant might also be someone who had been endorsed by their employer for a permit based on the nature of the work they do, such as picking up or depositing cash or other goods and valuables.

Assumed Risk Professionals
Judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and other professionals who could be targeted because of the dangers involved with their work.

Top-Secret Clearance Holders
Those with active top-secret government clearances were generally eligible so long as they were able to prove they held such a clearance.

"Personal Protection"
Those who could document (with police reports or protective orders) that they were specifically at risk of imminent danger or targeted by others wishing to do them harm.

Bail Bondsmen, Security Guards, Special Police, Private Detectives, Armored Car Drivers, and Private Security Officers
Those with these tasks and jobs were typically eligible for carry permits so long as they were able to verify with documentation the work and duties they perform.

Lawsuits

NOTE: The cases here refer to the Handgun Permit Review Board, a quasi-judicial body created by the 1972 legislation that established MD's permitting system. The board's existence was eliminated as a result of legislation in 2018. MSI had requested a veto from Governor Larry Hogan, who denied the request.

Snowden v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 413 A.2d 295, 45 Md.App. 464 (Md. App. 1980) - Upholding a reading of "good and substantial reason" to mean that the applicant bears the burden of demonstrating specifically why they need to carry a handgun more than their personal anxiety or say-so. Abrogated by Bruen.

Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 163 Md.App. 417, 880 A.2d 1137 (Md. App. 2005) - Re-affirming the Court of Special Appeals' prior holdings in Snowden, and additionally rejecting 2nd Amendment arguments in support of the right to keep and bear arms. Abrogated by Bruen.

Williams v. State, 417 Md. 479, 10 A.3d 1167 (Md. 2011) - Holding that regulations on carrying firearms outside the home are "outside of the scope of the Second Amendment, as articulated in Heller and McDonald". Abrogated by Bruen.

Woollard v. Gallagher, 712 F.3d 865 (4th Cir. 2013) - Upholding Maryland's requirement that an applicant for a carry permit demonstrates a "good and substantial reason" for issuance of a permit. Abrogated by Bruen and by In the Matter of William Rounds, No. 1533 (Md. App. 2022).

Whalen v. Handgun Permit Review Board (Md. App. 2020) - Unreported opinion where the Court of Special Appeals agreed with a lower court that plaintiff did not establish a 2nd Amendment claim before the Handgun Permit Review Board in his initial appeal and could not bring it before the court. The court also agreed with the board's finding that the applicant lacked a "good and substantial reason" for issuance of a permit. This case was dismissed.

 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ___ (2022) - Finding that the 2nd and 14th Amendments protect an individual's right to carry handguns publicly for self-defense and in so doing, deeming New York's "proper cause" requirement for issuance unconstitutional. This is indistinguishable from Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement. Importantly, the majority in Bruen also finds that the tiered scrutiny, interest balancing approach used by lower courts in deeming the constitutionality in 2nd Amendment challenges is inappropriate:

Today, we decline to adopt that two-part approach. In keeping with Heller, we hold that when the Second Amendment's plain text covers an individual's conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. To justify its regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest. Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation. Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this Nation's historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual's conduct falls outside the Second Amendment's "unqualified command." Konigsberg v. State Bar of Cal.,366 U.S. 36, 50, n. 10 (1961)

New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen, No. 20-843, 13 (U.S. Jun. 23, 2022)

Maryland's subjective carry permit requirements were previously upheld in Woollard v. Gallagher under the two-part test dispensed with in Bruen.

Fooks v. State, No 269 (Md. App. 2022) - Post-Bruen decision upholding prohibitions on gun possession under Sections 5-133(b)(2) and 5-205(b)(2) of the Public Safety Article.

In the Matter of William Rounds, No. 1533 (Md. App. 2022) - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals applies Bruen to hold that Md. Public Safety § 5-306(a)(6)(ii), the "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a permit, is unconstitutional under the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.

In the Matter of Edward Whalen, No. C-03-CV-21-000853 (Balt. Co Cir.Ct) Dismissed as Moot - Challenge of applicant's denial of a permit for lack of "good and substantial reason." Denial of permit reversed in light of Bruen.
6/29/22 - Petitioner's Motion for Summary Reversal
6/30/22 - Petitioner's Notice of Supplemental Authorities
7/12/22 - Reply to Petitioner's Motion for Summary Reversal
7/12/22 - Petitioner's Consent To Dismissal On Grounds Of Mootness

Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. et al. v. Montgomery County (MoCo Cir.Ct) (Ongoing) - Includes a 2nd Amendment challenge to Montgomery County's various firearms prohibitions in 2021's Bill 4-21 and County Code Section 57-11.

Helpful Resources

-HandgunLaw.us - Maryland
-List of prohibitors from firearms possession under Maryland State law
-List of prohibitors from firearms possession under Federal law
-Maryland Criminal Law, Title 4. Weapons Crimes
-Maryland Public Safety Article, Title 5. Firearms
-Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) - Title 29. Maryland State Police, Subtitled 03. WEAPONS REGULATIONS
-Slip Opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ___ (2022)
-July 6th, 2022 Advice Letter from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General in regards to the legality of "good and substantial reason"
-Maryland State Police Licensing Division
-Maryland State Police Licensing Division - Wear and Carry Permits
-Maryland State Police - Processing of Handgun Permit Applications SOP 29-19-004
-Maryland State Police Licensing Portal
-Maryland State Police Licensing Portal User Guide
-Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division
-List of LiveScan Fingerprint Providers
-List of Maryland State Police Qualified and Certified Handgun Instructors
-Wear and Carry Permit Course of Fire
-Certified Qualification Score Sheet


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Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Anne Arundel County, MD - Bill 108-21

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On April 11, Maryland Shall Issue, along with four firearms and ammunition dealers, Field Traders, Cindy's Hot Shots, Pasadena Arms, and Worth-A-Shot, filed a suit in federal district court against Anne Arundel County, MD challenging Bill 108-21, an ordinance that mandates that sellers of firearms or ammunition within the county distribute county-prepared or sponsored literature with each sale and display the materials in their establishments. The complaint alleges that the ordinance is unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Anne Arundel County, MD - Bill 109-21

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Maryland Shall Issue, along with four dealers, Field Traders, Cindy's Hot Shots, Pasadena Arms, and Worth-A-Shot, have filed a suit in State court against Anne Arundel County, Maryland challenging the enactment of Bill 109-21. This ordinance targets firearms dealers by imposing onerous and vague security requirements as a condition on doing business within the County. The ordinance also imposes harsh fines and other penalties against firearms dealers not in compliance. Whether a dealer is in compliance is determined at the whim and caprice of the police.

In multiple counts, the suit alleges that the ordinance is an impermissible "general law" under the State Constitution and is inconsistent with and preempted by multiple State statutes. The suit also attacks the vague requirements as a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Maryland Constitution. The Plaintiffs are seeking declaratory judgment and an injunction against the enforcement of the ordinance. Citizens have a Second Amendment right to acquire firearms and dealers have the ancillary Second Amendment right to sell them. The Anne Arundel ordinance would drive up dealer costs and hamper the exercise of both those rights. Read the Amended Complaint HERE

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US Supreme Court Orders Response from MD Attorney General Brian Frosh in "Assault Weapon" Ban Challenge

On January 14, the Supreme Court ordered the Maryland Attorney General to file a response to the petition for certiorari filed by plaintiffs in Bianchi v. Frosh, No. 21-901. In that case, plaintiffs are challenging Maryland's "assault weapon" ban as unconstitutional.

Bianchi docket as of 011522

That order means, at the minimum, that at least one Justice on the Court wants a response. It also likely means that the Court will hold this petition pending a decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, No. 20-843, in which the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of New York's "good cause" requirement for carry permits. Holding Bianchi would be consistent with the hold that the Court has apparently placed on the petition filed in the New Jersey "large-capacity magazine" case, ANJRPC v. Bruck, No. 20-1507. The petition in that case has been pending in the Supreme Court since April of 2021. All of this is good news. A decision in Bruen this Spring may mean that the Court will thereafter vacate the lower court decisions in both Bianchi and ANJRPC and remand for further consideration in light of Bruen. At least, we hope that is the outcome.


The Dangers of Maryland's Carry Laws

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On August 12, 2021, Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that a violation of Md. Criminal Law § 4-203(a)(1)(i) is a strict liability crime. Put simply, if one has a handgun on or about them and is not authorized to do so, they are guilty of violating the law. The case is Lawrence v. State, 471 Md. 101 (2021).

Section 4-203 is the statute that broadly prohibits the wear, carry, or transport of handguns within the State. Specifically, § 4-203(a)(1)(i) states:

 (a)    (1)    Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a person may not:

            (i)    wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person;

There are a few exceptions to this ban (found in subsection (b) of Section 4-203), such as one having a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit, possession in the home or business (by the business owner), or when transporting an unloaded handgun (kept in an enclosed case or enclosed holster) between a gun shop and one's residence or from their residence to a gun range. But, outside these sharply limited exceptions set out in subsection (b), the passage above otherwise broadly criminalizes having a pistol on (or about) the person. 

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MSI v. Montgomery County Update

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On June 16, 2021, we filed an emergency motion for partial summary judgment on three of our counts against Montgomery County's enactment of Bill 4-21. The motion seeks to enjoin the County from enforcing their new illegal laws which will go into effect on July 16th without action from the Court. Find the motion HERE and the memorandum in support HERE. As we have stated previously, we will not sit idle while politicians make criminals of ordinary and law-abiding residents. You can learn more and find updates about this case at tinyurl.com/msivmoco.

Taking these challenges is not possible without your support! Consider becoming a member of MSI, donating, or wearing MSI apparel or picking up our accessories.

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Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. et al v. Montgomery County, Maryland

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On May 28, 2021, Maryland Shall Issue, Engage Armament, ICE Firearms & Defensive Training, and several residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, filed suit against the County, challenging its enactment of Bill 4-21. That Bill criminalizes the mere possession of privately made firearms without providing compensation and redefines the meaning of "place of public assembly" to encompass virtually the entirety of Montgomery County just in order to criminalize otherwise perfectly lawful firearms possession in the home and elsewhere. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and an award of damages, including punitive damages. 

You can read the complaint HERE.
Further filings can be found below.

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Hulbert v. Pope: Awaiting a Ruling From 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

A Decision More Than Four Years in the Making, But No Jury Trial Date Yet

CASE SUMMARY: This lawsuit against Maryland Capitol Police Sgt. Brian T. Pope for violating the civil rights of two MSI members continues to progress in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, where the case has been briefed. This briefing includes an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief filed in March 2022 by the National Police Association on behalf of Sgt. Pope.

A U.S. District Court ruling in April 2021 denied qualified immunity to Sgt. Pope for his arrests of Jeff and Kevin Hulbert on the public sidewalk in front of the Maryland Statehouse in February 2018, and ordered this lawsuit to proceed to a jury trial on our claims.

However within days, in May 2021, the State filed a motion for reconsideration before the District Court and subsequently, an interlocutory appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. An interlocutory appeal, also known as an interim appeal, is one that is permitted at an intermediate stage of a case, either before a trial is commenced or a final resolution is reached. Interlocutory appeals are allowed by the Federal Rules of civil procedure only in specific circumstances, such as in this case, when there has been a denial of qualified immunity in the Court below. Their motion for reconsideration argued that Sgt. Pope should not have been denied qualified immunity by the District Court, asserting the Hulbert brothers’ arrests by Sgt. Pope were proper and that Kevin Hulbert’s video and audio recording of the police was not a “clearly established” First Amendment right. The Fourth Circuit would later remand the case back to the District Court for it to rule on the motion for reconsideration. That Court denied the motion and the State filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit.

We now await a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. With the Court now fully briefed as of May 2022, the Court may rule on our pending motion (filed in February 2022) to dismiss the State’s appeal without further briefing or oral argument.

Alternatively, the Court may order the parties to appear before a three-judge Fourth Circuit panel in Richmond, VA for oral argument; that panel would then rule on the State’s pending appeal.

IN MEMORIAM: Sadly, Jeff Hulbert, the lead plaintiff in this case, passed away on May 3, 2021, after a lengthy and valiant battle against cancer. Jeff’s daughter, his twin brother Kevin and other family members helped care for Jeff during his final days and were with Jeff at his bedside when he passed.  We at Maryland Shall Issue send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Hulbert.

Jeff was an outspoken and stalwart proponent of individual rights and a fierce supporter of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Jeff founded Patriot Picket with his brother Kevin in 2016. Patriot Picket "hits the bricks" of public sidewalks in Annapolis, throughout Maryland, the surrounding states, and the District of Columbia with stylized signs and pointed political messages in promotion and defense of those rights.

Please keep the Hulbert family in your thoughts and prayers; we will continue to remember and honor Jeff as this case progresses.

NOTE: Jeff’s passing does not end his association with this lawsuit. Jeff’s estate, administered by his brother Clayton, continues as a plaintiff. Clayton was appointed by the Court in July 2021 to represent Jeff’s estate in these proceedings, and at that time the legal title of this lawsuit was changed. Whereas Jeff was originally named as the lead plaintiff in this case, Clayton’s name now appears first for the plaintiffs in the revised case title as this lawsuit moves forward:

“CLAYTON R. HULBERT, as personal representative of the Estate of Jeffrey W. Hulbert; KEVIN HULBERT; MARYLAND SHALL ISSUE, INC., for itself and its members …”

CASE HISTORY: On the evening of February 5th, 2018, while holding edgy signs (with five fellow members of “Patriot Picket”) criticizing the powers that be in the General Assembly (and video-recording the demonstration and the approach of Maryland Capitol Police), two Maryland Shall Issue members were detained and arrested by Maryland Capitol Police Sgt. Brian T. Pope, handcuffed and then searched by him and other Maryland Capitol Police (MCP) officers on the Annapolis City sidewalk in front of the historic Maryland Statehouse.

Sgt. Pope had ordered them to move their peaceful, Constitutionally-protected sign-picketing demonstration from their chosen location on that public sidewalk to an area inside the adjacent Lawyers Mall, where the visibility of their signs and a banner to passersby would be obstructed by thick shrubbery growing in nearly waist-high planter boxes in Lawyers Mall.  Lawyers Mall itself is within the Statehouse grounds, and the use of it at that time required a permit.

Jeff and Kevin Hulbert refused Sgt. Pope’s order to leave the public sidewalk because neither nor their signs were blocking or obstructing the few pedestrians passing by them on the sidewalk:

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Jeff and Kevin Hulbert were transported separately by MCP officers to an Annapolis City PD precinct; escorted inside still in handcuffs, they were each then handcuffed to a steel bench in a booking room; they remained handcuffed until the issuance of criminal citations to them by Sgt. Pope, before being released.

Two additional criminal citations were issued to each of them the following day, also by Sgt. Pope, on orders from MCP Chief of Police Col. Michael Wilson, who was present and personally ordered that the additional citations be signed on the trunk of an MCP patrol cruiser parked at the foot of the Maryland Statehouse north steps, in full view of the public:

hulbert-day2-1.jpg

Portions of the video below were recorded by Kevin Hulbert of the sign-picketing demonstration the previous evening at the very moment Sgt. Pope approached the group to order the Hulberts and the other sign picketers to leave the sidewalk.

(Kevin Hulbert’s First Amendment right to record this video has become a key element in this lawsuit: the State argues on appeal that Kevin Hulbert had no “clearly established” right, by any precedent declared by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to record police in the public performance of their duties.)

The video below also depicts the arrival of additional MCP and Annapolis City PD officers, the subsequent arrest of the Hulbert brothers, and the issuance of the additional criminal citations to them the following day:


Video of arrests on 2/5/2018 - "1st Amendment Under Attack"

Within days Jeff and Kevin Hubert retained the distinguished Maryland civil rights attorney Cary Hansel of Hansel Law; joined by MSI (for itself and its members) as co-plaintiffs, a civil rights lawsuit was filed only nine days later in Federal District Court in Baltimore for the violation of their First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights.

Jeff Hulbert, depicted below in the Hansel Law conference room, displays a set of the three criminal citations issued to both him and his brother Kevin by the MCP following their arrest:

hulbert-charges.jpg

The arresting officer, MCP Sgt. Brian Pope, and the MCP Chief of Police Col. Michael Wilson, were named as defendants in our lawsuit; they are both represented by counsel from the Maryland State Attorney General's Office.

In an opening gambit, the defendants first moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, but that effort failed when the District Court didn't buy it. Then a lengthy legal discovery process ensued, which was further delayed by the COVID pandemic.

That discovery showed that the arrest of the Hulbert brothers that night could be traced to a call from the Governor's mansion requesting MCP to move the group because the "mansion" did not want to be bothered with questions or attempts at conversation by the Patriot Picket demonstrators.

Everyone, including the two MCP defendants (as well as other officers from the Maryland Capitol Police and the Maryland State Police), admitted in their court-ordered depositions during discovery that these orders came from the "mansion," but, amazingly, no one at the "mansion" could identify who gave the orders. We did discover that such orders happen as often as twice a month, or whenever someone at the "mansion" decides that the "mansion" does not want to deal with completely peaceful protestors lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. We can only speculate as to the identity of this "mansion" person.

When discovery was finally completed, defendants once again sought dismissal, this time through a motion for summary judgment. That effort likewise failed on Friday, April 23, 2021, when the Court issued an opinion denying the State's motions for summary judgment on our First Amendment and Fourth Amendment Constitutional claims.

The District Court held that there were "disputed issues" of fact that precluded summary judgment on our First Amendment claim (unlawful interference with the First Amendment right to demonstrate on the public sidewalk) and the Fourth Amendment claim (the arrests were made without probable cause of any crime) by the MCP arresting officer, Sgt. Pope.

In so holding, the District Court also held that there was a "clearly established" First Amendment right for Kevin Hulbert to record video and audio of the police in a public setting, and that disputed issues of fact precluded summary judgment for the defendants as to whether Sgt. Pope's arrest of Kevin Hulbert interfered with that right.

Finally, the Court rejected the State's argument that MSI should be dismissed from the lawsuit on standing grounds. The District Court did dismiss (wrongly in our view) the counts against the MCP Chief of Police, Col. Michael Wilson. 

So, presuming we prevail at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a jury trial in District Court against Sgt. Pope is next. That will take time to happen. By law (the Speedy Trial Act), criminal trials receive priority over civil cases and the COVID pandemic has effectively resulted in a backup of jury trials in civil cases. We hope to get a trial date within the next year.

With this and other cases, MSI has moved to the forefront in advocating for and protecting our First Amendment and Second Amendment rights against infringement at the county, state, and national levels in fundamentally important ways.

Whether advocating for our rights on public sidewalks, lobbying at the State Capitol, testifying in legislative hearing rooms, or filing legal challenges in State and Federal courts, MSI members and our organizational leadership know from personal experience that the First Amendment protects the Second Amendment, and the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, including unlawful arrests, as is alleged to have occurred in this case.

Audit the Audit recently referenced the case in a video about filming police.

Stay tuned. Click the links below to read the relevant documents in the docket for this case. The most recent filings appear at the bottom of this list:


Case Documents and History
US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:18-cv-00461-SAG

2/14/18 - Complaint
9/23/19 - MOTION to Quash, MOTION for Protective Order by Boyd K. Rutherford
10/7/19 - RESPONSE in Opposition re MOTION to Quash MOTION for Protective Order
1/31/20 - MOTION for Reconsideration of Lt. Governor Rutherford's Motion to Quash
12/16/20 - Joint MOTION for Summary Judgment on behalf of Defendants
2/10/21 - RESPONSE in Opposition re Joint MOTION for Summary Judgment
2/11/21 - Supplemental to Response in Opposition to Motion
3/5/21 - REPLY to Response to Motion re Joint MOTION for Summary Judgment on behalf of Defendants
4/22/21 - Memorandum Opinion
4/22/21 - ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
5/7/21 - Defendant's motion re Memorandum Opinion and Order
5/20/21 - Defendant's Notice of Interlocutory Appeal as to Memorandum Opinion, Order on Motion for Summary Judgment
6/21/21 - ORDER STAYING CASE pending the outcome of the interlocutory appeal

See Full Docket for Free in CourtListener

US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1608

5/24/21 - Docketed
6/8/21 - Briefing Order
7/2/21 - Appellant's Amended Suggestion of Death
7/6/21 - Appellees' Motion to Substitute Party
7/6/21 - Appellees' Response to Suggestion of Death
7/7/21 - Order Granting Motion to Substitute Party
7/16/21 - Defendant-Appellant's Response Re: Suggestion of Death
7/19/21 - Defendant's MOTION to suspend briefing pending resolution of a motion for reconsideration, to extend filing time for opening brief and appendix until August 18, 2021
7/19/21 - Order Granting Motion to extend filing time
8/6/21 - Appellee’s Opposition To Appellant’s Motion To Suspend Briefing Pending Resolution Of The Motion For Reconsideration Or, In The Alternative, For A 30-Day Extension
8/18/21 - Order Directing Parties to File Memoranda
9/1/21 - Appellees’ Memorandum Regarding Jurisdiction
9/1/21 - Defendant-Appellant Sgt. Brian T. Pope’s Memorandum On Jurisdiction
9/7/21 - Order Remanding Case in regards to Motion for Reconsideration

On Remand to US District Court for the District of Maryland

9/7/21 - Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration
9/28/21 - Reply Memorandum In Support Of Defendant Sgt. Brian T. Pope’s Motion For Reconsideration
10/6/21 - Opinion Denying Defendant Sgt. Pope's Motion for Reconsideration
10/6/21 - Order Denying Defendant Sgt. Pope's Motion for Reconsideration

On appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1608

11/12/21 - Briefing Schedule - Joint appendix and opening brief due 1/24/22. Response due 2/23/22.
1/24/22 - Brief of Appellant (State)
2/23/22 - Appellees Consent Motion to Extend Time
2/23/22 - Appellees Motion to Dismiss Appeal
2/24/22 - Response Requested on Appellees Motion to Dismiss by 3/7/22
2/24/22 - Order on Appellees Consent Motion to Extend Time
3/1/22 - Brief of Amicus Curiae National Police Association in Support of Defendant-Appellant Brian T. Pope
3/7/22 - Appellant's Opposition To Appellees’ Motion To Dismiss Appeal
3/10/22 - NOTICE by Clayton R. Hulbert and Kevin Hulbert that a reply will be filed
3/14/22 - Appellee’s Reply To Defendants’ Opposition To Motion To Dismiss
3/24/22 - Brief of Appellees
3/28/22 - CORRECTED Brief of Appellees
4/15/22 - MOTION by Brian T. Pope to extend filing time for reply brief until May 6, 2022
4/15/22 - ORDER filed granting Motion to extend filing time. Number of days granted: 18. Any Reply brief due 05/06/2022.
5/6/22 - Reply Brief of Appellant


March Litigation Update and Other News



1. The Rapid Fire Trigger Activator case:  The Supreme Court case is MSI v. Hogan, No. 20-855 (US).  There, MSI and the individual plaintiffs have challenged as a Taking Maryland's ban on possession of previously lawfully owned and acquired "rapid fire trigger activators."  We lost that challenge in the Fourth Circuit in a split 2-1 decision, with a compelling and lengthy dissent by Judge Richardson. MSI v. Hogan, 963 F.3d 356 (4th 2020). We have thus filed a petition for certiorari with Supreme Court, asking the Court to review the Fourth Circuit's ruling.  MSI also filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in The Modern Sportsman, LLC v. United States, No. 20-1077 (Fed. Cir.), where a similar Takings issue is pending arising from the ATF's regulatory ban on bump stocks. That case was heard by the Federal Circuit at oral argument on December 8 and a decision is pending. The theory is simple:  If the government is going to ban the possession of lawfully acquired private property and thereby destroy all property rights in that property, then the State should pay for it. The State's Opposition to our petition for certiorari is due on March 29, after which we will file a reply brief. We may have a decision by the Court on whether to hear the case in late April or May. If the petition is granted, the case will be fully briefed over the summer with oral argument likely in the Fall. 

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New Challenge to Maryland's Handgun Carry Ban

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Call v. Jones III     

    On behalf of our members, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in bringing a new legal challenge to Maryland’s unconstitutional ‘wear and carry’ permit requirements.


     The "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a permit imposed by Maryland law has long been used to effectively disqualify the vast majority of law-abiding Marylanders of their right to carry a handgun for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The time has come to end Maryland’s subjective and discriminatory law and regulations. The people of Maryland have a fundamental right to protect themselves in public.

Read the complaint
HERE
 
You can follow the case's progress HERE
 

RESULT

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ___ (2022), that there exists a 2nd Amendment right to carry handguns in public for personal protection and that right is guaranteed through the 14th Amendment. New York's subjective "proper cause" requirement at issue in that case is analogous to Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a permit to carry a handgun in Maryland and was singled out as much in the opinion, therefore making it unenforceable. On July 5th and after consultation with the MD Office of the Attorney General, Governor Larry Hogan ordered the Maryland State Police to comply with the Court's opinion and to suspend enforcement of "good and substantial reason," effectively making Maryland a shall issue state for carry permits.

The individual plaintiffs in Call are eligible for permits, like any other law-abiding Marylander, leaving nothing else at issue in the case. Parties jointly agreed that the case is moot (meaning there's nothing to decide) and the case was remanded by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to the District Court to be dismissed. The District Court did so on September 8th, 2022, officially ending the case.

Marylanders are able to apply for carry permits without needing to demonstrate a special need.


Case Documents and History
US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:20-cv-03304-DKC

11/13/20 - Complaint
12/7/20 - Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss
12/21/20 - Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
3/19/21 - Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
3/26/21 - Notice of Appeal to US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1334

5/7/21 - Joint Motion to Hold Appeal in Abeyance
5/7/21 - Order Granting Motion to Suspend Briefing
5/10/21 - Order Granting Motion to Hold in Abeyance
6/23/22 - New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen is decided
6/24/22 - Briefing Order (Scheduling)
8/3/22 - Joint Motion to Vacate and Remand With Instructions to Dismiss as Moot
8/11/22 - Order Granting Motion to Vacate and Remand With Instructions to Dismiss as Moot
9/2/22 - Mandate Issued on Order Granting Motion to Vacate and Remand With Instruction to Dismiss as Moot

US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:20-cv-03304-DKC

9/8/22 - Order Dismissing Case as Moot

 


9th Circuit Rules Magazines Capable of Holding more than 10 Rounds are Protected by the 2nd Amendment

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On August 14th, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled 2-1 that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition are indeed protected by the 2nd Amendment. As such, California's ban on the possession of these common items has been found unconstitional by the court. We welcome and agree with the majority opinion. California can seek rehearing en banc before a panel of 11 judges in the 9th Circuit and/or file a petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.

You can read the opinion in Duncan v Becerra HERE


Handgun Qualification License ON TRIAL!

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We are pleased that the court of appeals has allowed this important Second Amendment challenge to the Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL) to proceed to the merits.  We look forward to further proceedings in District Court.

You can read the opinion from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit HERE


Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators

 MSIvHogan 18 2474 4CA Opinion

In a sharply split, 2-1 decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that Maryland may ban the possession of "Rapid Fire Trigger Activators" by existing owners without paying just compensation under Fifth Amendment or the Maryland Constitution.  The majority ruled that no just compensation was owed to existing, lawful owners because the ban “does not require owners of rapid fire trigger activators to turn them over to the Government or to a third party.”  In short, as far as this majority is concerned, the State is free to ban the possession of any personal property without paying just compensation unless the State puts the property into its own pocket or the pocket of a third party.  If that is the law, then no personal property, of any kind, is safe from the grasping clutches of the General Assembly.  For example, the State could ban possession of your existing car and not pay a dime.  The dissenting opinion ably demolishes the majority's reasoning.  Needless to say, we will be seeking further review.

You can read the ruling HERE.  Stay tuned.

Maryland Shall Issue will continue to fight for the interests and rights of its members and the public, but to do so requires resources and your help. Consider joining or donating to MSI.


Background Checks for Firearms Purchases and Licenses Interrupted

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Due to a systems failure on the morning of June 21st within the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services (DPSCS), the Maryland State Police (MSP) was no longer able to complete background checks for Handgun Qualification Licenses (HQL), regulated firearms transfers (77R transfers), and Wear and Carry Permit background investigations. DPSCS have since restored their systems and the MSP have been processing background checks as fast as they can. We appreciate the efforts of the State Police to remedy the backlog as quickly as possible, though the bureaucratic processes created by the General Assembly compounds these issues for Marylanders who are merely trying to protect themselves.

From the MSP:

Background Checks Underway After Data System Restored

(PIKESVILLE, MD) — Maryland State Police Licensing Division employees worked throughout the night and will continue to work around-the-clock to address pending regulated firearm purchase applications after a state data system was restored late yesterday.

At about 8:30 p.m. yesterday, the State Police Licensing Division was notified by officials at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services that the data system had been restored and access to background check information was available.  Employees at the Licensing Division immediately began completing background check investigations on the regulated firearm purchase applications that had been pending since a system failure occurred on June 21st.

Licensing Division employees worked throughout the night and will continue to work around-the-clock until all pending and incoming regulated firearm purchase applications have been reviewed and are being completed within Maryland’s required seven day waiting period.  Even with employees working 24-hours-a-day to address this, the process is anticipated to take several days to complete.  The Licensing Division continues to work with Maryland’s licensed firearms dealers to track any regulated firearm released after the waiting period, but before full completion of the background check process.

As of 4:00 p.m. yesterday, information from Maryland firearms dealers indicated that of the 893 firearm purchase applications eligible for release, 54 regulated firearms had been released to customers after the seven day waiting period had passed.  The individuals receiving those firearms were the first ones background checks were conducted on during the night.  There were no prohibiting factors found for any of those applicants.


As far as we know, there's no evidence or information to suggest that anyone's personal information was comprimised while the systems were down and none of the applicants whose dealer released firearms to them failed or would have failed background checks.

While the MSP have asked the Dealers to hold off on releasing any regulated firearms (handguns) until the checks completed, dealers may release regulated firearms on the 8th day after a transaction at their discretion. From the MSP's latest advisory on 6/25:

Should the RFD elect to exercise their statutory option to release a regulated firearm on the eighth day, we ask that the procedure listed below be followed:

1. The RFD will access their Licensing Portal;
2. locate the application to be released within the “SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS” section;
3. print a copy of the application;
4. verify that all information in “Section 4” is accurate;
5. both the RFD and the applicant will sign and complete “Section 6;”
6. scan and send the completed copy of the 77R to .

Additional Coverage:
Maryland Handgun Background Check System Crashes, Leaving Gun Buyers in Limbo - Washington Free Beacon
Citing a ‘catastrophic hardware failure,' Maryland State Police report delays in gun background checks and licenses - Baltimore Sun
Guns sold without completed background checks in Maryland - WUSA9
After ‘Catastrophic Hardware Failure,’ Dozens Of Guns Were Released Without Completed Background Checks In Maryland - WAMU


Maryland Shall Issue Argues Against the HQL Before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., its members and Atlantic Guns were represented in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond, VA) on the morning of May 6th via teleconference, appealing the lower court's dismissal of the Maryland Handgun Qualification License lawsuit on standing grounds.

MSI and it's members consider the HQL requirement (and it's provisions, such as one live round, fees, fingerprinting, etc.) an egregious infringement upon the rights of Marylanders to acquire the means to their own defense.

Please consider supporting MSI's and its all volunteer membership's efforts, on your behalf, by joining and/or donating to our shared cause.

Listen to the oral argument recording of Maryland Shall Issue, inc. v Lawrence Hogan (19-1469) below

You can find additional info, including briefs in this case and info on 2nd Amendment-related challenges across the country in the Litigation Tracker.


Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Maryland Shall Issue®, Inc.
9613 Harford Rd
Ste C #1015
Baltimore, MD 21234-2150

Phone:  410-849-9197
Email: 
Web:   www.marylandshallissue.org