MSI Position on Utilization of the Terrorist Watch List for Gun Sales
Maryland Shall Issue is opposed to the Terrorist Watch List for the same reasons the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is opposed to the Terrorist Watch List, it lacks due process as required under the 5 th and 14 th Amendments to the Constitution. The Terrorist Watch List was created as an investigative tool, and was never intended to provide due process. The government does not disclose to people that they are under investigation.
Neither irrefutable evidence nor concrete facts are necessary for a person to be included on the Terrorist Watch List. The Terrorist Watch List has no oversight by any court or entity, and is generated by those in the counterterrorism community at their sole discretion. Something as simple as a social media posting or being reported by an “originator” (who can be an ordinary citizen), is enough for inclusion on the Terrorist Watch List. Even the ultra-liberal and virulently anti-gun Huntington Post admits that anyone can end up on the Terrorist Watch List through no fault of their own. The Terrorist Watch List lacks any means for a person to challenge their inclusion on the list, or for a person improperly added to list to facilitate their removal from the list. The Terrorist Watch List is a list of names, not identities. If you have the misfortune to have the same name as a person on the list such as Mickey Hicks (an 8 year old boy), your rights may be inappropriately restricted. The Terrorist Watch List is woefully inaccurate. Nearly 40% of those on the government's terrorist watch list have no affiliation with recognized terrorism groups. Infants, small children, and prominent federal politicians have mistakenly been included on the Terrorist Watch List. Last, you will never know that you are on the Terrorist Watch List until it is too late because the government maintains a general policy to neither confirm nor deny an individual’s watch list status. Imagine if a list could be compiled in secret that would deny people the right to free speech, freedom of assembly, or freedom of religion. The Terrorist Watch List in its current implementation is wholly unsuitable for use as a mechanism by which individuals can have their civil rights suspended without recourse. Until such time as the list can provide: (a) timely due process, (b) a mechanism for removal for those wrongly included, (c) identify individuals and not simply names, (d) shown to be reasonably accurate, and (e) administered with public and judicial oversight, we cannot support its utilization to restrict citizens civil rights.
Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators
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.
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.
Background Checks for Firearms Purchases and Licenses Interrupted
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 .