MSI Spring 2022 Legal Update
Despite all of the necessary attention to the General Assembly and our work to fight off as much bad legislation as possible, MSI has been tirelessly involved in litigation on numerous fronts.
Maryland Shall Issue, et al. v. Montgomery County (Bill 4-21 challenge)
MSI recently filed a supplemental brief and motion to expedite the challenge to Montgomery County's ban on privately made firearms, gun parts, and restrictions on carry. Find the filing HERE and read all about this case HERE.
Maryland Shall Issue, et al. v. Anne Arundel County
There are now two cases carrying this name. Earlier this year, MSI, Cindy's Hot Shots, Field Traders, Worth-A-Shot, and Pasadena Arms filed suit in Anne Arundel Circuit Court against Anne Arundel County challenging on preemption and vagueness grounds the County's enactment of Bill 109-21. That County ordinance burdens dealers with expensive and onerous security requirements and requires dealers to obtain County Police approval in order to do business. Learn all about the case HERE.
Last week, MSI and those same four dealers also filed a new suit in federal district court 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. Read it HERE.
Hulbert v. Pope (First and Fourth Amendments, Qualified Immunity)
The case against Sgt. Pope of the Capital Police Department for violating the civil rights of two MSI members continues to progress in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, where the case is being briefed. The District Court denied qualified immunity to Officer Pope for his arrests of Jeff and Kevin Hulbert in front of Lawyer's Mall in February 2018. The State appealed that decision, asserting the arrests were proper and that filming the police was not a clearly established 1st Amendment right. Learn more about this case HERE.
Maryland Shall Issue v. Hogan (HQL Challenge) and Call v. Jones (Carry permits)
These two cases are both being held in abeyance at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit pending a decision by the Supreme Court in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, a 2nd Amendment challenge to the requirements and restrictions placed upon carry permits in New York. Bruen was argued on November 3rd and a ruling could come any time. Typically, a ruling in such an important case come down at the end of the Court's Term in June or July. An opinion in favor of the plaintiffs in Bruen (which we expect) would likely doom Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of permits challenged in Call. Such a ruling would make Maryland a "shall issue" State.
The Court's reasoning in Bruen could also change how 2nd Amendment cases are analyzed and thus control the outcome in MSI's Second Amendment challenge to the HQL statute in MSI v. Hogan. The Court appears to be sitting on Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs Inc. v. Bruck, pending a decision in Bruen. In that case, plaintiffs have challenged New Jersey's ban on magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. The Court also requested a response from the State of Maryland in Bianchi v. Frosh, a challenge to the State's ban on common semi-automatic rifles and shotguns on Maryland's so-called "assault weapons" list. Maryland filed that response on April 15 and likewise suggested in the alternative that the Court hold the case pending a decision in Bruen. Plainly, much turns on the Court's opinion in Bruen. Stay tuned.