2020 MDGA - Testimony in Support of SB880

This bill simply amends MD Code Public Safety § 5-111 and MD Code Public Safety § 5-309 to direct the Maryland State Police to mail a notice of renewal for State firearms licensees and to holders of a Maryland wear and carry permit at least 60 days prior to the expiration of these licenses.  These amendments are imminently sensible.  Allowing these licenses to expire inadvertently usually means that the licensee must start all over from scratch, as if there had never been any license at all.  Other states provide notice to licensees, including carry permits issued to out of state residents. 

For example, 42 states, including states such as Florida, Utah, Virginia, and Pennsylvania issue carry permits and many, if not most, of these states provide renewal notices. Florida has issued permits to over 2 million persons and manages to provide notice of renewal to each of these persons.  https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/2019/04/11/florida-nears-milestone-2-million-concealed-weapon-permit-holders/.  As of 2016, Utah had issued approximately 663,000 carry permits.  https://www.standard.net/police-fire/utah-concealed-weapons-permits-now-numbering-k-see-surge-in/article_04739588-b02c-5d93-91a9-62c0e1ece68b.html. It likewise provides renewal notices. Pennsylvania has issued over 1 million carry permits.  It likewise provides renewal notices, albeit from the County Sheriffs, who are the issuing authority under Pennsylvania law.  See generally https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3463357&download=yes

In contrast, Maryland has issued a little more than 27,000 carry permits, which is a tiny fraction of the number of permits issued in these other states. If other states can issue renewal notices, there is no apparent reason that the State Police in Maryland cannot do likewise. It is simply matter of sending out automated notices generated by a computer.  That information is already being automated in Maryland for carry permits.  Indeed, as of October 1, 2019, the State Police moved to a fully automated application and renewal process for carry permits. https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/Firearms/WearandCarryPermit.aspx.  The renewal period in Maryland is 2 years for the first renewal and 3 years for subsequent renewals for carry permits.  See MD Code, Public Safety, § 5-309. Thus, within 3 years, all the data, including expiration dates, for every existing permit holder will be fully incorporated into this automated system. There is no reason that the State Police cannot use that automated process to generate renewal notices for every person whose data is stored within that automated system.  The cost would truly be de minimis.

While the State Police have not yet automated their dealers’ licenses application and renewal process, the State Police will undoubtedly will do so soon, just as the State Police has automated the carry permit process and the process for purchasing a regulated firearm and the process for issuing Handgun Qualification Licenses.  See https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Licensing%20Division%20Documents/LD-FRU-16-002A%20Automation%20Update.pdf.  Indeed, the Maryland State Police have already created an on-line Licensing Portal which will could (and probably will) be used for this purpose. See https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/Portal.aspx (“In accordance with the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, the Maryland State Police have developed a web/mobile accessible Licensing Portal where citizens may submit, and Maryland firearms dealers have the ability to access, firearms applications. The Portal is a web ‘dashboard’ that provides citizens the ability to submit and track multiple application types.”).  Upon incorporation of dealers’ licenses into that automated process, the State Police could easily generate automated renewal notices to dealers as well.  We urge a favorable report.

Sincerely,

Mark W. Pennak
President, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.

PDF Available Here


Latest News

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.

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.

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.

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

Contact Info

Headquarters:

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

Phone:  410-849-9197
Email: 
Web:   www.marylandshallissue.org