Background Check Bill Veto Overridden

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Yesterday, the House narrowly voted to override Governor Hogan's veto of 2020's SB208, which criminalizes the private sale and transfer of long guns. 85 votes were needed to override and 88 unwisely chose to do so. Now that SB208 has been overridden in both chambers, the bill will go into effect in 30 days (on March 13, 2021). Why? Article II, Section 17 (d) of the Maryland Constitution states:
  • Any Bill vetoed by the Governor shall be returned to the House in which it originated immediately after the House has organized at the next regular or special session of the General Assembly. The Bill may then be reconsidered according to the procedure specified in this section. Any Bill enacted over the veto of the Governor, or any Bill which shall become law as the result of the failure of the Governor to act within the time specified, shall take effect 30 days after the Governor's veto is over-ridden, or on the date specified in the Bill, whichever is later.
Starting on March 13th, 2021, private sales and permanent transfers between residents of long guns will need to be facilitated by an FFL at your cost. To be clear, this bill does not require licensing or involve the Maryland State Police. You can thank our prior advocacy for that. Rather, it makes it a criminal act to permanently transfer ownership of a long gun to another unless a NICS check is performed by an FFL. The new law DOES NOT APPLY to transfers in ANY of these circumstances:
  • Between "immediate family members" (defined as a spouse, a parent, a stepparent, a grandparent, a stepgrandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a sibling, a stepsibling, a child, a stepchild, a grandchild, a stepgrandchild, a niece, or a nephew, as related by blood or marriage)
  • Involving law enforcement and military acting within the scope of their official duties
  • Between licensed collectors of Curio and Relics
  • Of an unserviceable long gun sold, rented, or transferred as a curio or museum piece
  • Between those with demonstrable religious beliefs against having photographs taken of them and who does not possess a license or an identification card of any kind with photographic identification
  • A transfer that occurs by operation of law on the death of a person for whom the transferee is an executor, an administrator, a trustee, or a personal representative of an estate or a trust created in a will
  • A temporary gratuitous loan of a rifle or shotgun (unless the transferor has reasonable cause to believe that the transferee is a prohibited person).
Join MSI in thanking every lawmaker who voted to sustain Governor Hogan's veto (and to him for his veto!). Special thanks go to Senators Hough, Ready, Cassilly, Carozza, and Simonaire, and Delegates Hornberger, Beitzel, Arikan, Cox, Shoemaker, Ghrist, Mautz, and Buckel for all eloquently speaking in support of Marylanders rights. All of the votes are recorded in our tracker HERE.  We encourage everyone to communicate (civilly) with their representatives on how they feel about the representative's vote. 

Advocacy isn't limited to the 90 days our legislature meets. It is a constant effort and those who do not understand gun ownership or the rights of others do not sleep. Educate your lawmakers. Educate your friends. Advocacy does make a difference.  Don't be a free rider!

The General Assembly is still in session! You can keep track of all the gun bills at tinyurl.com/guntracker.

Latest News

US Supreme Court Orders Response from MD Attorney General Brian Frosh in "Assault Weapon" Ban Challenge

On January 14, the Supreme Court ordered the Maryland Attorney General to file a response to the petition for certiorari filed by plaintiffs in Bianchi v. Frosh, No. 21-901. In that case, plaintiffs are challenging Maryland's "assault weapon" ban as unconstitutional.

That order means, at the minimum, that at least one Justice on the Court wants a response. It also likely means that the Court will hold this petition pending a decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, No. 20-843, in which the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of New York's "good cause" requirement for carry permits. Holding Bianchi would be consistent with the hold that the Court has apparently placed on the petition filed in the New Jersey "large-capacity magazine" case, ANJRPC v. Bruck, No. 20-1507. The petition in that case has been pending in the Supreme Court since April of 2021. All of this is good news. A decision in Bruen this Spring may mean that the Court will thereafter vacate the lower court decisions in both Bianchi and ANJRPC and remand for further consideration in light of Bruen. At least, we hope that is the outcome.

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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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

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