Maryland State Police Lifts Permit Restrictions for Business Owners
On August 6, 2019, the Maryland State Police announced that they were changing their standard operating procedure with respect to restrictions placed on carry-permits issued to business owners. Under this new policy, business owners who otherwise establish a "good and substantial reason" for a carry permit will be issued such a permit without any restrictions. Previously, the permits issued to such owners were restricted to "while conducting business." A copy of this State Police announcement can be found HERE. Apparently, the Maryland State Police intends to take steps to apply this new policy to business owners who have appealed the prior restriction to the Handgun Permit Review Board or have appeals pending on this restriction before the Office of Administrative Hearings. We suggest that persons with such pending appeals contact the State Police Licensing Division concerning their status.
Other business owners (without pending appeals) may request a modification of their existing permits to remove the restriction by filing a request (along with a $10 check) with the State Police. A form for requesting this modification can be downloaded from the Maryland State Police website HERE. Please note that this change applies only to business owners. Permits issued to employees of businesses will continue to be restricted. Significantly, the State Police have also issued a new SOP for carry-permits generally. This SOP reflects this new policy with respect to business owners and defines what constitutes a "business owner" under this policy. The new SOP may be found HERE. While we continue to believe that all restrictions should be eliminated, we welcome this change in the State Police policy for business owners. Under this new policy, business owners, at least, need not fear an illegal or arbitrary arrest for carrying outside their restrictions under the vague "while conducting business" restriction previously used by the State Police. The new policy is thus a small victory for common sense and the rule of law. Rest assured that MSI will continue to press for full elimination of the "good and substantial reason" requirement in the General Assembly and the courts.
Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators
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.
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
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.
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 .