On December 21st, 2020, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari before the Supreme Court of United States in Maryland Shall Issue, Inc et al. v Hogan. Read the petition HERE.
Update 12/29/2020: The Supreme Court has docketed the case. https://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/20-855.html
Call v. Jones III
On behalf of our members, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in bringing a new legal challenge to Maryland’s unconstitutional ‘wear and carry’ permit requirements.
The "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a permit imposed by Maryland law has long been used to effectively disqualify the vast majority of law-abiding Marylanders of their right to carry a handgun for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The time has come to end Maryland’s subjective and discriminatory law and regulations. The people of Maryland have a fundamental right to protect themselves in public.
The individual plaintiffs in Call are eligible for permits, like any other law-abiding Marylander, leaving nothing else at issue in the case. Parties jointly agreed that the case is moot (meaning there's nothing to decide) and the case was remanded by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to the District Court to be dismissed. The District Court did so on September 8th, 2022, officially ending the case.
Marylanders are able to apply for carry permits without needing to demonstrate a special need.
Case Documents and History
US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:20-cv-03304-DKC
11/13/20 - Complaint
12/7/20 - Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss
12/21/20 - Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
3/19/21 - Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
3/26/21 - Notice of Appeal to US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1334
5/7/21 - Joint Motion to Hold Appeal in Abeyance
5/7/21 - Order Granting Motion to Suspend Briefing
5/10/21 - Order Granting Motion to Hold in Abeyance
6/23/22 - New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen is decided
6/24/22 - Briefing Order (Scheduling)
8/3/22 - Joint Motion to Vacate and Remand With Instructions to Dismiss as Moot
8/11/22 - Order Granting Motion to Vacate and Remand With Instructions to Dismiss as Moot
9/2/22 - Mandate Issued on Order Granting Motion to Vacate and Remand With Instruction to Dismiss as Moot
US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:20-cv-03304-DKC
9/8/22 - Order Dismissing Case as Moot
9th Circuit Rules Magazines Capable of Holding more than 10 Rounds are Protected by the 2nd Amendment
On August 14th, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled 2-1 that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition are indeed protected by the 2nd Amendment. As such, California's ban on the possession of these common items has been found unconstitional by the court. We welcome and agree with the majority opinion. California can seek rehearing en banc before a panel of 11 judges in the 9th Circuit and/or file a petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.
You can read the opinion in Duncan v Becerra HERE
We are pleased that the court of appeals has allowed this important Second Amendment challenge to the Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL) to proceed to the merits. We look forward to further proceedings in District Court.
You can read the opinion from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit HERE
In a sharply split, 2-1 decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that Maryland may ban the possession of "Rapid Fire Trigger Activators" by existing owners without paying just compensation under Fifth Amendment or the Maryland Constitution. The majority ruled that no just compensation was owed to existing, lawful owners because the ban “does not require owners of rapid fire trigger activators to turn them over to the Government or to a third party.” In short, as far as this majority is concerned, the State is free to ban the possession of any personal property without paying just compensation unless the State puts the property into its own pocket or the pocket of a third party. If that is the law, then no personal property, of any kind, is safe from the grasping clutches of the General Assembly. For example, the State could ban possession of your existing car and not pay a dime. The dissenting opinion ably demolishes the majority's reasoning. Needless to say, we will be seeking further review.
You can read the ruling HERE. Stay tuned.
Maryland Shall Issue will continue to fight for the interests and rights of its members and the public, but to do so requires resources and your help. Consider joining or donating to MSI.
Due to a systems failure on the morning of June 21st within the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services (DPSCS), the Maryland State Police (MSP) was no longer able to complete background checks for Handgun Qualification Licenses (HQL), regulated firearms transfers (77R transfers), and Wear and Carry Permit background investigations. DPSCS have since restored their systems and the MSP have been processing background checks as fast as they can. We appreciate the efforts of the State Police to remedy the backlog as quickly as possible, though the bureaucratic processes created by the General Assembly compounds these issues for Marylanders who are merely trying to protect themselves.
Background Checks Underway After Data System Restored
(PIKESVILLE, MD) — Maryland State Police Licensing Division employees worked throughout the night and will continue to work around-the-clock to address pending regulated firearm purchase applications after a state data system was restored late yesterday.
At about 8:30 p.m. yesterday, the State Police Licensing Division was notified by officials at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services that the data system had been restored and access to background check information was available. Employees at the Licensing Division immediately began completing background check investigations on the regulated firearm purchase applications that had been pending since a system failure occurred on June 21st.
Licensing Division employees worked throughout the night and will continue to work around-the-clock until all pending and incoming regulated firearm purchase applications have been reviewed and are being completed within Maryland’s required seven day waiting period. Even with employees working 24-hours-a-day to address this, the process is anticipated to take several days to complete. The Licensing Division continues to work with Maryland’s licensed firearms dealers to track any regulated firearm released after the waiting period, but before full completion of the background check process.
As of 4:00 p.m. yesterday, information from Maryland firearms dealers indicated that of the 893 firearm purchase applications eligible for release, 54 regulated firearms had been released to customers after the seven day waiting period had passed. The individuals receiving those firearms were the first ones background checks were conducted on during the night. There were no prohibiting factors found for any of those applicants.
As far as we know, there's no evidence or information to suggest that anyone's personal information was comprimised while the systems were down and none of the applicants whose dealer released firearms to them failed or would have failed background checks.
While the MSP have asked the Dealers to hold off on releasing any regulated firearms (handguns) until the checks completed, dealers may release regulated firearms on the 8th day after a transaction at their discretion. From the MSP's latest advisory on 6/25:
Should the RFD elect to exercise their statutory option to release a regulated firearm on the eighth day, we ask that the procedure listed below be followed:
1. The RFD will access their Licensing Portal;
2. locate the application to be released within the “SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS” section;
3. print a copy of the application;
4. verify that all information in “Section 4” is accurate;
5. both the RFD and the applicant will sign and complete “Section 6;”
6. scan and send the completed copy of the 77R to .
Maryland Handgun Background Check System Crashes, Leaving Gun Buyers in Limbo - Washington Free Beacon
Citing a ‘catastrophic hardware failure,' Maryland State Police report delays in gun background checks and licenses - Baltimore Sun
Guns sold without completed background checks in Maryland - WUSA9
After ‘Catastrophic Hardware Failure,’ Dozens Of Guns Were Released Without Completed Background Checks In Maryland - WAMU
Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., its members and Atlantic Guns were represented in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond, VA) on the morning of May 6th via teleconference, appealing the lower court's dismissal of the Maryland Handgun Qualification License lawsuit on standing grounds.
MSI and it's members consider the HQL requirement (and it's provisions, such as one live round, fees, fingerprinting, etc.) an egregious infringement upon the rights of Marylanders to acquire the means to their own defense.
Listen to the oral argument recording of Maryland Shall Issue, inc. v Lawrence Hogan (19-1469) below
You can find additional info, including briefs in this case and info on 2nd Amendment-related challenges across the country in the Litigation Tracker.
Gun Ranges and and Federal Firearms Licensees may remain open!
Governor Hogan's latest order (dated March 30, 2020) states:
This Order controls the occupancy and use of all businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities that are not part of the critical infrastructure sectors identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (currently described at https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19) (collectively, “Non-Essential Businesses”).
That cross reference to the DHS website is controlling as to the scope of the Governor's definition of "non-essential businesses." Stated differently, the order expressly does NOT apply to businesses that are part of the "critical infrastructure sectors," as defined by DHS. That cross reference thus requires reference to the DHS site in order to determine what is a "critical infrastructure" business.
At that DHS website is the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response Version 2.0 (March 28, 2020), available at https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA_Guidance_on_the_Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workforce_Version_2.0_Updated.pdf. That document sets out the "identified essential critical infrastructure workers," which includes: "Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges." Those businesses may remain open, including "firearm or ammunition . . . retailers" and "shooting ranges."
We endorse the Governor's recommendations for safe practices while at these facilities. See https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/. If you have any questions on the scope of the Governor's orders, you should consult your lawyer. The Governor's orders have the force of law and a violation of the orders is a criminal misdemeanor. See MD Code, Public Safety, § 14-114.
This tracker features briefs, orders, and statuses of important gun-related litigation from around the country, including MSI's.
Generously provided and maintained by Rob Romano at 2Aupdates and Firearms Policy Coalition.
Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. Litigation
Novotny v Moore (SB 1 "Gun Safety Act of 2023, Existing carry prohibitions in Maryland)
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v. Anne Arundel County (1st Amendment, Firearms Dealers Requirements)
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v. Montgomery County (Bill 21-22E, Carry prohibitions, ban on privately made firearms, employer requirements)
Hulbert v Pope (1st Amendment, Unlawful Arrest)
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v Hogan (Handgun Qualification License)
None of this litigation or any of the work we're able to do would be possible without your generous support. Please consider joining us if you're not a member. If you already are, encourage a friend or family member to sign-up! Wear your support, pick up some MSI Empty Chamber Indicators, or donate. It is all greatly appreciated.
Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Montgomery County (State Law Pre-Emption, Privately-made firearms, Carry Prohibitions) - Dismissed as moot, as the County passed another ordinance that waived enforcement of these requirements. A win!
Call v Jones III (Carry Permits) - Dismissed as moot. The "good and substantial reason" requirement for permit issuance was found unconstitutional in NYSRPA v. Bruen and the State of Maryland officially stopped enforcing it on 7/5/22.
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v. Anne Arundel County (State Law Pre-Emption, Firearms Dealers Requirements) - Dismissed as moot. MSI's suit forced the County to pass an ordinance that suspended enforcement of Bill 109-21, the ordinance at issue.
In the Matter of Edward Whalen - (Good and Substantial Reason) - Dismissed as moot. Denial of permit reversed in light of Bruen. See Petitioner's Motion for Summary Reversal HERE. Notice of Supplemental Authorities HERE.
Maryland Shall Issue v Hogan (2018 SB707, "Rapid Fire Trigger Activator" takings) - Fourth Circuit upheld MD's takings of personally held property (bump stocks, binary triggers, etc...) without just compensation - Cert Denied by US Supreme Court.
Whalen v Handgun Permit Review Board (Good and Substantial Reason) - Dismissed
Kolbe v Hogan ("Assault Weapons," Magazine Capacity Restrictions of Firearm Safety Act of 2013) - Fourth Circuit upheld MD's weapons and magazine bans. Cert Denied by US Supreme Court. Precedent vacated by US Supreme Court GVR of Bianchi v. Frosh to the Fourth Circuit in light of NYSRPA v. Bruen.
John Doe, et al vs Marcus L Brown, et al (Maryland State Police mishandling of personal data) - Voluntarily dismissed. MSI's suit compelled the Maryland State Police to secure firearms owners' personal information as required by state law.
MSI Amicus Filings
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 07-290
AMICUS BRIEF OF GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, ET AL. IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENT
McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 08-1521
AMICUS BRIEF OF GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, ET AL. IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS
Holloway v Rosen (2021) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 20-782
AMICUS BRIEF OF MONTANA SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
The Modern Sportsman, LLC v United States of America (2021) - United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Case# 20-1107
AMICUS BRIEF OF MARYLAND SHALL ISSUE, INC., IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANTS AND REVERSAL
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 20-843
AMICUS BRIEF OF SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION, ET AL. IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS AND REVERSAL
McCutchen et al., v. United States of America (2022) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 22-25
AMICUS BRIEF OF MARYLAND SHALL ISSUE, INC. IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS
Non-MSI Cases of Interest in Maryland
Snowden v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 413 A.2d 295, 45 Md.App. 464 (Md. App. 1980) - Upholding a reading of "good and substantial reason" to mean that the applicant bears the burden of demonstrating precisely why they need to carry a handgun more than their personal anxiety or say-so
Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 163 Md.App. 417, 880 A.2d 1137 (Md. App. 2005) - Re-affirming The Appellate Court of Maryland's prior holdings in Snowden, and additionally rejecting 2nd Amendment arguments in support of the right to keep and bear arms
Williams v. State, 417 Md. 479, 10 A.3d 1167 (Md. 2011) - Holding that regulations on carrying firearms outside the home are "outside of the scope of the Second Amendment, as articulated in Heller and McDonald"
Woollard v. Gallagher, 712 F.3d 865 (4th Cir. 2013) - US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld MD's "good and substantial reason" requirement for wear and carry permit eligibility, Cert Denied by US Supreme Court
Lawrence v. State, 475 Md. 384, 257 A.3d 588 (Md. 2021) (Prohibition on wear, carry, transport of handguns - Mens Rea) - Maryland Court of Appeals rules that a violation of Md. Criminal Law § 4-203(a)(1)(i) is a strict liability crime
In the Matter of William Rounds, No. 1533 (Md. App. 2022) - The Appellate Court of Maryland applies Bruen to hold that Md. Public Safety § 5-306(a)(6)(ii), the "good and substantial reason" requirement for issuance of a permit, is unconstitutional under the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Cochran v. State, No 777 (Md. App. 2023)
Reininger v. Butler, 1:23-cv-01183, District Court, D. Maryland (Current) - Suit filed against the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Maryland State Police for denials of firearms purchases to those with expunged records.
MSI is now an AGC club!
Maryland Shall Issue, inc. is proud to announce that it has formally joined the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore (AGC) as an Associated Club. Therefore, anyone who is a current member of MSI in good standing is eligible to purchase an AGC range badge upon completion of a range safety orientation. This is an important benefit for members as the AGC range is one of the finest shooting facilities on the East Coast.
Not an MSI member yet? Join here!
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.
Darlyn used to completely reject the idea of owning guns. She shares her story of coming to terms with the realities of relying solely on painfully slow government services for her safety and ultimately how she learned to protect herself. Along the way, she provides insight on how to approach those who think like she used to.
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.
Whalen v Handgun Permit Review Board
In the continued fight to promote and defend the right of armed defense that belongs to every responsible, law-abiding Marylander, Maryland Shall Issue is representing MSI member, Holmes Whalen, in an appellate brief filed on July 22, 2019, with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (Maryland's intermediate level appellate court). Mr. Whalen was arbitrarily denied a permit by the State Police and that denial was sustained by the Handgun Permit Review Board and by the Baltimore City Circuit Court.
The National Rifle Association, Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have filed briefs in support of our challenge against the Handgun Qualification License. The case is currently progressing in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
We are grateful for the well researched and written briefs!
You can read them at the links below:
On June 24th 2019, Maryland Shall Issue, Atlantic Guns, and the individual plaintiffs filed our opening brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from the district court’s dismissal in our challenge of the Handgun Qualification License. The District Court held that none of the plaintiffs had standing to complain about the HQL. In doing so, the court ignored much of the evidence of record, impermissibly acted as a fact finder on summary judgment and committed numerous errors of law in order to reach the result it did. You can read the newly filed brief HERE.
The Sun, in its February 8, 2019 editorial, ably demonstrates once again that it does not grasp the complexity of gun law in Maryland in asserting that the Handgun Permit Review Board somehow has created a “loophole” in Maryland gun law by reversing the Maryland State Police 222 times on handgun wear and carry permits issued by the State Police.
Well, the Legislative Season is upon us. More on that below. But the really big news is that the Supreme Court has granted certiorari (agreed to decide) its first major Second Amendment case since McDonald v. Chicago was decided back in 2010.
Rarely have so many misguided arguments been contained in so few words as those contained in The Sun’s January 24, 2019 editorial, “Guns and the new Supreme Court.” It's hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with Baltimore and the assertion in the editorial that “Baltimore’s murder problem and its gun problem are essentially one in the same.” Rubbish.