Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators

 MSIvHogan 18 2474 4CA Opinion

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.

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Background Checks for Firearms Purchases and Licenses Interrupted

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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.

From the MSP:

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 .

Additional Coverage:
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

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Maryland Shall Issue Argues Against the HQL Before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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.

Please consider supporting MSI's and its all volunteer membership's efforts, on your behalf, by joining and/or donating to our shared cause.

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.

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Shooting Ranges and Dealers Are Critical Infrastructure and May Remain Open!

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 (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  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  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. 

Link to Governor Hogan's Fourth Executive Order

Link to the latest guidance from the Department of Homeland Security

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Gun Case Tracker

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
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v. Anne Arundel County (1st Amendment, Firearms Dealers Requirements)

Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Montgomery County (State Law Pre-Emption, Privately-made firearms, Carry Prohibitions)

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 supportpick up some MSI Empty Chamber Indicators, or donate. It is all greatly appreciated.

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
McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 08-1521
Holloway v Rosen (2021) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 20-782
The Modern Sportsman, LLC v United States of America (2021) - United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Case# 20-1107
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 20-843
McCutchen et al., v. United States  of America (2022) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 22-25

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 Court of Special Appeals' 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 Maryland Court of Special Appeals 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.


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Maryland Shall Issue has joined the AGC!


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. 

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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. 

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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.

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MSI Challenges "Good and Substantial Reason" in New Lawsuit


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.

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NRA, MSRPA, and NSSF File Briefs in Support of our Challenge to the HQL

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:

Amicus Curiae Brief by NRA and MSRPA

Amicus Curiae Brief by NSSF

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Appeal in Handgun Qualification License Lawsuit Filed

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.

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MSI Winter Update

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. 

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Victory in the 9th Circuit!

In a huge decision authored by Judge O'Scannlain, a split panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that Hawaii's ban on open carry outside the home in that state violates the Second Amendment under any level of scrutiny. The decision, Young v. Hawaii, can be found here. The decision is very scholarly, carefully reasoned and a powerful statement that the Second Amendment is not a "second-class" right or a constitutional "orphan."

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Privately Made Firearms in Maryland


Last updated 9/2/22

In 2022, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB425 and SB387, bills that criminalize the possession of unserialized firearms (aka "ghost guns" or "privately made firearms") starting on March 1st, 2023.

HB425 and SB387 become effective in two parts:

-Starting on June 1, 2022, no firearm and no "unfinished frames and receivers" may be sold, purchased, or transferred in Maryland unless they have a serial number imprinted in accordance with federal law by a federally licensed manufacturer or importer. An "unfinished frame or receiver" is defined by the bills to mean "a forged, cast, printed, extruded or machine body or similar article that has reached a stage in manufacture where it may readily be completed, assembled, or converted to be used as the frame or receiver of a functional firearm."

The term "readily be completed, assembled, or converted" is defined in ATF Rule 2021r-05F and explained in the Department's Response. Find a summary from the ATF HERE. Section 3 of HB425 and SB387 expressly require that this Maryland law be construed to be "consistent" with these ATF rules and thus will cover whatever the ATF Rule defines as an article that can be "readily" completed, assembled, or converted into a functional firearm. Under the bills, a sale, purchase, or transfer of such an unserialized firearm or unserialized unfinished frame or receiver on or after June 1, 2022, is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, per firearm. The ATF Rule is effective as of August 24, 2022. See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24652

The ATF Rule goes into elaborate detail in defining the terms "readily," "frame" and "receiver." See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24734, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.11 (defining "readily" to mean "[a] process, action, or physical state that is fairly or reasonably efficient, quick, and easy, but not necessarily the most efficient, speediest, or easiest process, action, or physical state," and then goes on to provide a list of vague "factors" to be considered in applying this test), and 27 C.F.R. 478.12 (defining "frame" and receiver"). As an example, the ATF Rule expressly includes within its definition of a frame or receiver any "kit containing a partially complete or disassembled billet or blank of a frame or receiver that is sold, distributed, or possessed with a compatible jig or template is a frame or receiver, as a person with online instructions and common hand tools may readily complete or assemble the frame or receiver parts to function as a frame or receiver." 87 Fed. Reg. at 24739 amending 27 C.F.R. 478.12(c). Another example: "A billet or blank of an AR–15 variant receiver without critical interior areas having been indexed, machined, or possessed with instructions, jigs, templates, equipment, or tools such that it may readily be completed is not a receiver." (Id.). The ATF Rule provides other examples as well. If in doubt, read the ATF Rule closely and consult legal counsel. Again, the Maryland law is to be interpreted to be "consistent" with the ATF Rule, so if the item is a "frame" or a "receiver" or can be "readily" converted into a frame or receiver under the ATF Rule, then it is covered by the Maryland law. If the item is not covered by the ATF Rule, then it is likewise not covered by Maryland law.

-Starting on March 1, 2023, the bills will also ban the mere possession of every unserialized firearm or unfinished frame or receiver (as defined above). Firearms manufactured prior to October 22, 1968 (when the Gun Control Act of 1968 was signed), and antiques are exempted.

To retain possession, an owner must make use of one of two alternatives to get the item serialized:

      1. Under the first alternative, the firearm and/or "unfinished frame or receiver" must be serialized in accordance with federal law by a federally licensed manufacturer or importer, however as of 8/24/22, the effective date of the Rule, gunsmiths can as well. See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24653 ("In addition, the rule finalizes the proposed amendments to the term “gunsmith” to include persons who engage in the business of identifying firearms for nonlicensees, thus ensuring greater access to professional marking services for PMFs."). This alternative merely restates existing law under which manufacturers and importers have been required to mark serial numbers since passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. See 18 U.S.C. § 923(i). Under this alternative, the firearm must be marked in accordance with the procedure and marking protocol established by the newly published ATF Rule, viz., the markings must comply with the depth, size, and content requirements of federal law and the manufacturer or importer making the markings must enter the firearm into its A&D books. See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24742, amending Section 478.92(a)(2). Those depth, size, and content requirements can be found at 87 Fed. Reg. at 24741-42, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.92(a)(1). A frame or a receiver marked in this manner by a manufacturer or importer need not be registered with the Maryland State Police.

      2. For the second alternative (we'll call the "zip code alternative"), HB425 and SB387 provide the "firearm" or unfinished frame or receiver may be serialized by "a federally licensed firearms dealer, federal firearms manufacturer, or other federal licensee authorized to provide marking services" with a number that includes the zip code and initials of the owner, plus another unique number. The ATF Rule redefines a gunsmith as an "other federal licensee" who may do identification markings. See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24742, amending the definition of gunsmith in 478.92(a)(4)(iii)(C). Again, that redefinition goes into effect as of August 24, 2022. Such markings must still be in compliance with the depth and size requirements set by federal law. Under this alternative, the federal licensee must still enter the item into its A&D books even if the identification is done the same day as the FFL receives the item from the owner. See 87 Fed. Reg. 24746, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.125(i). See also Fed. Reg. at 24732 ("The final rule clarifies that PMFs [privately made firearms] must be recorded as an acquisition when a licensee places marks of identification, and as a disposition upon return (unless the licensee is marking under the direct supervision of another licensee who recorded the acquisition."). Under this alternative, the owner must also register the "firearm" with the Maryland State Police.

        As of 8/24/22, this zip code alternative cannot be done by any FFL under the ATF Rule. The ATF will not accept that zip code marking as sufficient which means that no FFL will use it. The ATF Rule expressly requires that any FFL who comes into possession of a PMF for purposes of identification markings (or for overnight for any reason) must mark the PMF in compliance with the ATF Rule (viz., by using the FFL's license number).

Failure to comply with these requirements applicable to possession is punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000, per firearm. Conviction of this possession offense does not result in a lifetime firearms disqualification under federal or state law. Neither the ATF Rule nor the Maryland law actually requires an FFL to participate. A willing FFL is free to charge a fee in any amount. You can read more on what the bill does in a prior write-up by MSI HERE.

MSI's Take: We think it likely that relatively few FFLs will actually participate in these imprinting schemes, particularly after August 24, 2022, when the ATF Rule goes into effect. Under current federal law, only a federally licensed manufacturer or importer may serialize a firearm. Most dealers in Maryland are neither. Under the ATF Rule, after August 24, 2022, the ATF will also permit a gunsmith to imprint serial numbers. In contrast, the Maryland law basically allows any FFL to imprint these markings under the zip code alternative, but as a practical matter only manufacturers, importers, or gunsmiths are likely to have access to the expensive engraving machinery and have the expertise necessary for serialization. The ATF Rule does not require manufacturers, importers, or gunsmiths to accept possession of any unserialized firearm.

As of its effective date, the ATF Rule requires that the FFL include any PMF in his A&D books and imprint a serial number that includes part of the FFL's license number. See 87 Fed. Reg. 24742, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.92(a)(2) ("The serial number must begin with the licensee’s abbreviated Federal firearms license number, which is the first three and last five digits, as a prefix to a unique identification number, followed by a hyphen, e.g., ‘‘12345678-[unique identification number]’’). Under the ATF Rule, it is far from clear that any FFL, including manufacturers, importers, and gunsmiths, are allowed to imprint and record just the Maryland zip code identification number. That number and method of identification simply do not include the FFL's license number. The ATF Rule does provide that a licensee may use an existing number already on a PMF by adding the licensee's FFL license number as a prefix to a number otherwise mandated by State law or already engraved by another licensee or even a non-licensee. See 87 Fed. Reg. 24711. In sum, it is relatively clear that as of August 24, 2022, no manufacturer, importer or gunsmith will mark any PMF with simply the zip code number allowed by HB425/SB387. The ATF Rule requires the licensee to record the identification number in its A&D books. 87 Fed. Reg. at 24746, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.125(i). The number to be recorded is the number that includes the licensee's FFL number and not some other number. Only in that manner would the traceability objectives underlying the ATF Rule be served. See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24669.

Moreover, while the Maryland law would seemingly permit zip code identification marking by any FFL, we have found nothing in the ATF Rule that permits FFLs who are not manufacturers, importers, or gunsmiths to perform any identification imprinting. The Rule redefines a "gunsmith" to be an entity that may perform this service, but pointedly does not redefine other types of FFLs so as to permit this service. The implication is that only gunsmiths and manufacturers and importers may perform identification imprinting. This conclusion is reinforced by the Rule's statement that "licensed dealer-gunsmiths, manufacturers, and importers" may make "same-day adjustments to repairs of unmarked PMFs without marking them as long as they do not accept them into inventory overnight and they are returned to the person from whom they were received." 87 Fed. Reg. at 24730. That same discussion makes plain that these types of licensees must enter such PMFs in their A&D books if the PMF is accepted for marking, regardless of whether it is a same-day marking. (Id.). While it is reasonable to read the ATF Rule as applicable to all dealers, see 87 Fed. Reg. at 24742, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.92(a)(2), licensees who are not gunsmiths, manufacturers or importers may not perform the actual marking, but rather must contract out marking services to a gunsmith, manufacturer or importer. The ATF Rule makes that abundantly clear when it acknowledges that “most FFLs do not have gunsmiths on staff,” and states that“a portion of the [FFL] population will need to contract for gunsmithing services.” 87 Fed. Reg. at 24719. An FFL dealer licensee who is not a gunsmith and who is not willing to “contract for gunsmithing services” is, of course, free to refuse to accept any PMF into its inventory. See 87 Fed. Reg. at 24706 (“Nothing in this rule requires licensees to accept PMFs into inventory . . . .”). Indeed, if all FFLs of any type were allowed to do this marking, there would be no reason to carve out Type 01 gunsmiths for special treatment in the Rule. Thus, while the Maryland law may allow any FFL to do imprinting, nothing in the ATF Rule would allow such an FFL who is not a licensed manufacturer, importer, or gunsmith to do so. Federal rules for imprinting serial numbers are also highly specific and demanding, effectively requiring expensive engraving machinery and skill of type that only manufacturers, importers, and gunsmiths are likely to possess. All these serial number requirements create legal risks for the FFL, as any failure to follow the ATF rules would risk the loss of the FFL's federal license. We see lots of potential legal traps for the unwary FFL.

The few FFLs willing to bear these risks are likely to charge a significant fee (who can blame them?). Given that there are untold thousands of owners and tens of thousands of unserialized firearms and "unfinished frames or receivers" in Maryland, we doubt that most existing owners will be able to obtain serialization services from a qualified FFL by March 1, 2023. That will be particularly true for owners of all-polymer frames, as federal rules effectively require a metal surface for engraving. The ATF Rule, for example, states: "An acceptable method of identifying a PMF is by placing the serial number on a metal plate that is permanently embedded into a polymer frame or receiver, or other method approved by the Director." 87 Fed. Reg. at 24742, amending 27 C.F.R. 478.92(a)(2). Such metal plates may well be lacking. 

Owners who are unable to obtain serialization will be required to destroy these firearms (or unfinished receivers), sell them to an FFL, move them out of the State, or surrender them to a State law enforcement agency. Once again, the law-abiding are being criminalized by irrational Maryland gun-control policies based more on hysteria and gun hatred than on rational thought.

The Maryland State Police has provided the following:
Federal Firearms Licensees Providing Maryland Mandated Marking Services
Untraceable Firearms Advisory LD-FRU-22-003 - Revised
Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Marking Service LD-FRU-22-004
Application Submission Instructions for Privately Made Firearms and Unfinished Frames or Receivers

On June 1, 2022, Senate ​Bill 387 (Untrace​able Firearms) takes effect and adds Subtitle 7 to Title 5 of the Public Safety Article. This new law expands the definition of a firearm, restricts unfinished frames or receivers (commonly referred to as 80% lowers or ghost guns) until certain federal regulations are established, and requires a certain serial number or personal identification number to be affixed on privately made firearms and unfinished frames or receivers by a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) authorized to provide marking services by a certain date. Additional details and the final version of Senate Bill 387 can be found by clicking the following links:
​FFLs providing marking services as per PS 5-703(B)(2)(II)(1)(A-C) are reminded that this is a gunsmithing service and that the imprinting of the State mandated personal identification number is not associated with the Licensee's FFL number. The customer presenting the PMF or unfinished frame or receiver to the FFL, shall provide the FFL with the alphanumeric characters to imprint as per PS 5-703​. FFLs are advised that the personal identification number shall be imprinted on a single line in the following manner:
      • ​​​​​​Postal zip code of the current owner or person that made, completed, or initially assembled the firearm, followed by
      • Initials of the current owner or person that made, completed, or initially assembled the firearm, followed by
      • A number that has not been used by the current owner or person that made, completed, or initially assembled the firearm on any other firearm that this person made, completed, or initially assembled.​​
E​​xample of Personal Identification Number Format: 21208MSP001
Applicants wishing to register their privately made firearms and unfinished frames or receivers in accordance with PS 5-703​, please click the following link to the Licensing Portal​.
Applicants will be required to provide the name and FFL number of the FFL who imprinted the State mandated personal identification number on the firearm that they are registering. Privately Made Firearm and Unfinished Frame or Receiver applicants can review step-by-step instructions on how to submit this type of application to the Licensing Portal by clicking the following link: PMF & Unfinished Frame or Receiver Instructions


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Testimony in Opposition to SB 113 and HB 259 - Civil Actions - Public Nuisances - Firearm Industry Members (Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2023)


House Bill "Civil Actions - Public Nuisances - Firearm Industry Members (Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2023)"
Sponsored by Delegates Atterbeary and Rosenberg
Being heard in the House Judiciary Committee 2/1/2023
Testimony Signup: 1/30/2023 between 8am and 3pm

Senate Bill "Civil Actions - Public Nuisances - Firearm Industry Members (Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2023)"
Sponsored by Senator Waldstreicher
Being heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee 2/7/2023
Testimony Signup: 2/6/2023 between 8am and 3pm


The Bill: This Bill defines a new offense of “public nuisance” and is designed to negate the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7901, et seq. (“PLCAA”). It provides a new duty of care on a “firearm industry member” a term that is defined by the bill to include “A PERSON ENGAGED IN THE SALE, MANUFACTURING, DISTRIBUTION, IMPORTING, OR MARKETING” of any “a “firearm-related product,” a term that is defined to include all firearms and ammunition, including mere “COMPONENTS” of firearms and ammunition.

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Maryland Shall Issue®, Inc.
9613 Harford Rd
Ste C #1015
Baltimore, MD 21234-2150

Phone:  410-849-9197