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.