Whalen v Handgun Permit Review Board Argued Before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals

In this case, the appellant, Holmes Whalen, was denied a carry permit by the Maryland State Police and that denial was sustained by the Handgun Permit Review Board.  Mr. Whalen challenged that denial in circuit court, contending Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for a carry permit was unconstitutional and that prior Maryland precedent have been superseded by subsequent Supreme Court holdings. 

The circuit court nonetheless sustained the good and substantial reason requirement and Mr. Whalen appealed to the the Court of Special Appeals, Maryland's intermediate appellate court. The appeal was fully briefed over the summer and was orally argued before a three-judge panel of the court on November 4.  Mr. Whalen was represented on this appeal by the President of Maryland Shall Issue. 

It is, of course, difficult to predict the outcome of any case from oral argument.  At oral argument, the State AG's Office did concede (properly) that while Supreme Court decisions are binding, the Maryland state courts are not bound by lower federal court decisions, including the Fourth Circuit's decision in Woollard, where the court sustained the good and substantial reason requirement.  The issue is thus presented for the first time in the Maryland courts since the Supreme Court decided Heller in 2008 and applied that ruling to the States in McDonald in 2010.  In our view, Mr. Whalen has the much better argument on the law on this issue, especially given the D.C. Circuit's recent decision in Wrenn and in the Ninth Circuit panel's decision in Young.  There is a chance that the court will await guidance from the Supreme Court in the pending NYSRPA case (which will be argued on December 2).  Should Mr. Whalen lose in the Court of Special Appeals, then he could file a petition for certiorari to Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals.  From there, any appeal would go to the Supreme Court of the United States.  Stay tuned.

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Montgomery County Bill 21-22E is in Effect

It is now practically impossible for anyone other than active police officers and security guards to lawfully carry a firearm for personal defense in public within Montgomery County.


On 11/28/2022, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich signed Bill 21-22E into law. The Bill goes into effect immediately. The Bill has now banned the possession, transport, sale or transfer of any firearm in countless locations across Maryland's most populous county. It is now legally very risky to carry a firearm in Montgomery County with a wear and carry permit. Bill 21-22E repealed the prior exemption for permit holders and then imposes its bans on a long list of locations, including within 100 yards of such locations.  It is simply impossible, as a practical matter, to possess and transport a firearm in the County in public with a wear and carry permit in compliance with the County's gun laws. That is because it is nearly impossible to move around the County without entering one or more of the many 100-yard exclusion zones enacted by Bill 21-22E. 

MSI Bill Tracker - 2023 Maryland General Assembly Regular Session

2023 Gun Bill Tracker Graphic

This tracker follows legislation and lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly. It serves as an easily searchable gun and self-defense-related bill database for supporters of the right to keep and bear arms.

Share this tracker anywhere! tinyurl.com/guntracker
Key:
Red ❌= Oppose
Green ✅= Support
Light Green ✅= Support with Amendment
Blue ℹ️= Informational Testimony Only (provides knowledge for the committee on the bill without taking a position)
Gray = Position Pending or None Taken

HOW TO TESTIFY
MSI Guide - Tips For Your Testimony in the Maryland General Assembly

To Sign-up to testify, you MUST make a MyMGA Account!
DO SO HERE


Find your representatives HERE
Committee Contacts can be found HERE

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