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.


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The Dangers of Maryland's Carry Laws

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

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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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