Handgun Qualification License (HQL) Hearing Recap

 

The hearing on Monday, August 7, 2017 before federal District Judge Garbis on the State's Motion To Dismiss lasted almost two hours and was very interesting.

The Judge did not issue any ruling from the bench, so the issues addressed await further order from the Court.  Our main argument was that the Court should not entertain the State's motion until we had been accorded an opportunity for discovery.  By the end of the hearing, Judge Garbis may have been convinced, asking the parties how long they would need for discovery.  In other comments from the bench, Judge Garbis seemed taken aback by the reality that the one-shot HQL regulations issued by the State Police effectively meant that Baltimore City residents would have to travel outside the city in order to get the HQL.  He also appeared quite interested in our argument that the HQL statute use of "receive" was vague and thus a violation of the Due Process Clause.  Judge Garbis was open-minded and asked excellent questions of counsel.  We were pleased to have this opportunity to present our arguments and look forward to a ruling.  

Mark W. Pennak, President, MSI


Latest News

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