• Legislation

Veto Request for SB1000/HB1343

April 12, 2019

Mr. Christopher S. Shank
Chief Legislative Officer
Legislative Office
State House
100 State Circle Annapolis, MD 21401-1925

Re: Veto Request for SB1000/HB1343

This letter is submitted on behalf of Maryland Shall Issue, its officers and Board and all its members, to request that Governor Hogan veto SB1000/HB1343, which abolish the Handgun Permit Review Board. As you may know, Maryland Shall Issue is an all-volunteer, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners’ rights in Maryland. The undersigned President of Maryland Shall Issue is an attorney and an active member of the Bar of the District of Columbia, having recently retired from the United States Department of Justice, after 33 years of practicing before the federal Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Having just passed the out-of-state-attorney’s bar exam, the undersigned will also soon be an active member of the Maryland Bar.

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Post-Legislative Session Update - What Passed and What Didn't

What a Session! We saw the most anti-gun bills introduced since 2013. But as a community, we stood tall and defeated almost every single anti-gun measure. Maryland Shall Issue thanks each and every one of you who took time from your days, evenings, and endured sleepless nights to contribute to the defense and advancement of your fellow Marylanders rights. Despite this particularly hostile legislative session, you didn't tire or throw in the towel. Without your phone calls, meetings, letters, and testimony, who knows the damages and criminal penalties Marylanders would be facing this year. We know we can count on you when the time calls and are honored to have your support. Again, thank you.

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MGA2019: Testimony in Opposition to SB1000 and HB1343 - Public Safety - Handgun Permit Review Board - Repeal

PDF Available Here

The Handgun Permit Review Board serves as civilian oversight of Maryland State Police decisions on applications for carry permits and modifications to existing permits. Removal of the Board will mean that the only recourse applicants would have from arbitrary State Police decisions would be an appeal to an administrative law judge for formal trial-type proceedings. As a practical matter, that means you would need a lawyer and that is expensive. The State Police know that, of course, so the elimination of the Board is simply part of their overall strategy of discouraging applications and appeals.

These bills would repeal MD Code Public Safety § 5-302 to eliminate the Handgun Permit Review Board established by that section. Under that Section, the Board consists of five persons appointed by the Governor. The bill would also amend 5–312 of the Public Safety Article to provide appeals from decisions concerning a handgun carry permit would be only to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), an administrative body which employs administrative law judges to conduct trial-type hearings in disputes over agency decisions. These bills must be considered in the greater context of the law and the facts associated with carry permits in Maryland. Thus viewed, the bills are misguided and uninformed.

Be sure to read our entire position in the PDF here.


MGA2019: Testimony in Opposition to HB92 - Public Safety - Handgun Permits - Payment of Fees

PDF Available Here

House Bill 92 would amend MD Code Public Safety 5-304. That section sets out the requirements for an application for wear and carry permits issued by the Maryland State Police. It establishes fee caps for the applications and provides that the applicant for a carry permit may pay the fees under this section by “a personal check, business check, certified check or money order.” HB 92 would amend this last requirement, providing that the applicant must pay via “a method of payment approved by the Secretary.” For the reasons set forth below, this change is misguided and would impose additional barriers on applicants who lack the means to meet the State Police’s new requirements.

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MGA2019: Information Only Testimony on SB97 and HB749 - Firearms - Right to Purchase, Possess, and Carry - Use of Medical Cannabis

PDF Available Here

These bills simply provide that “a person may not be denied the right to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm under this title solely on the basis that the person is authorized to use medical cannabis under title 13, subtitle 33 of the health – general article.” MSI takes no position with respect to the merits of this bill. However, we do wish to point out some legal realities for purposes of informing the debate.

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MGA2019: Written estimony in Opposition to HB95 - Public Safety - Firearms Disqualifications - Antique Firearm (Shadé's Law)

PDF Available Here

These bills basically prohibit an otherwise disqualified person from possessing an “antique” firearm. Under current law, Public Safety, § 5-205 prohibits a disqualified person from possessing a rifle or a shotgun, but makes an exception from that prohibition for “a rifle or shotgun that is an antique firearm as defined in § 4-201 of the Criminal Law Article.” SB 448 and HB 402 remove that exception from Section 5-205.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Opposition to HB96 and SB346 - Public Safety - Regulated Firearms - Transfer

PDF Available Here

HB 96 and SB 346 would amend MD Code, Public Safety § 5-124 to provide that “[i]n this section, ‘transfer’ includes a loan other than a temporary gratuitous exchange of a regulated firearm between two individuals who remain in the same location for the duration of the exchange.” The term “loan” is new to Title 5 and not defined either in these bills or elsewhere. Under these bills, a law-abiding non-prohibited adult who loans a handgun to another law-abiding, non-prohibited adult must go through all the transfer requirements imposed by Section 5-124.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Opposition to HB786 and SB737 - Public Safety - Rifles and Shotguns - Transactions

PDF Available Here

These bills essentially copy virtually all of Maryland’s existing laws that severely restrict the purchase and transfer of handguns over to long guns, ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns, so as to impose most of the same restrictions on the possession and receipt of these long guns. The bills then add a wholly new set of restrictions on temporary and permanent long gun “transfers” which would be defined in an extremely broad manner. The bills would severely criminalize any non-compliance with its many and highly complex new restrictions.

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MGA2019: Testimony in Opposition to HB612 - Public Safety - Regulated Firearms - Colt AR-15 Sporter H-BAR Rifle

PDF Available Here

Current law, the Statutory Scheme and HBARs:

Under current law, MD Code, Public Safety, § 5-101(r)(2) contains a long list of firearms which the statute defines as a “regulated firearm” That list includes, at Section 5- 101(r)(2)(xv) a “Colt AR–15, CAR–15, and all imitations except Colt AR–15 Sporter H–BAR rifle.” (Emphasis added). The term “HBAR” means that the rifle is equipped with a heavy barrel.

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MGA2019: Testimony in Opposition to HB468 and SB441 - Public Safety - Access to Firearms - Storage Requirements

PDF Available Here

These bills would amend Md Code Criminal Law § 4-104. Specifically, current law provides that “[a] person may not store or leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised child would gain access to the firearm” and makes any violation punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. A child is defined for these purposes as a person “under the age of 16 years.” This bill would change the definition of a child to a person under the age of 18 years and modifies the prohibition to provide that a “person may not store or leave a loaded OR UNLOADED firearm in a location where the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised child COULD gain access to the firearm, UNLESS THE FIREARM IS LOCKED.” It also changes the punishment from 1 year in prison to 2 years in prison.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Opposition to HB740 and SB882 - Criminal Law – Firearms – Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3D Printed Firearms & Ghost Guns)

PDF Available Here

House Bill 740 and Senate Bill 882 would enact two new possession criminal offenses into law. MD Code Criminal Law §4-111 to create a new crime by providing that a person may not “transport” into the State any firearm made after 1968 that does not have a serial number imprinted by federally licensed manufacturer. Section 4-111 would also provide that a person may not “(2) manufacture, possess, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, or receive a firearm manufactured after 1968 that is not imprinted with a serial number issued by a federally licensed firearms manufacturer or importer.” A violation of this section is punishable by 3 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

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Major Attack on Gun Owners in Maryland!

If you are a gun owner who resides or could reside in Maryland, your rights are under attack like never before.  The Maryland General Assembly has put forth a series of egregious bills this session and we ask you to HELP US fight them! Not only do we need self-defenders, but also hunters, competitors, tinkerers, and recreational shooters, as the legislature has declared all of us public enemy number one!

Not content with making the lives of handgun owners miserable, now they are after the hunters and long guns. Bill SB737 was just introduced and that bill requires anyone desiring to purchase or "receive" a long gun obtain a LONG GUN QUALIFICATION LICENSE!  Highly similar to the Handgun Qualification License, this license will require 4 hours of training and fingerprinting and ban any person from receiving a long gun without having first applied to the State Police for this LGQL.  Even after getting an LGQL, a purchaser would also have to wait 7 days before picking up their long gun, and the bill would limit them to a single long gun purchase per month!  Additionally, anyone who moves into the state will be required to register their long guns within 90 days of establishing residency!  And there are loads of severe criminal penalties for those who fail to comply for any reason.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Support of SB114

Firearms Safety Act of 2013 requires that a person complete a 16 hour training course, taught by a State certified instructor, “prior to application” for a carry permit. MD Code, Public Safety, § 5-306(a)(5). Senate Bill 114 would amend Section 5-306 to delete the requirement that the training be completed “prior to application.” It then provides that a person may file an initial application for a wear and carry permit without completing the training and directs that the State Police to issue a preliminary approval if the person is otherwise qualified for the permit. The person then has 120 days after receipt of the preliminary approval to furnish the State Police the certificate of training otherwise required by the regulations. A permit does not issue until that training certificate is provided. If no certificate of training is provided, the State Police are directed to revoke the preliminary approval and deny the permit application.

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MGA2019: Written Testimony in Opposition of SB113

SB 113 would amend MD Code Public Safety 5-304. That section sets out the requirements for an application for wear and carry permits issued by the Maryland State Police. It establishes fee caps for the applications and provides that the applicant for a carry permit may pay the fees under this section by “a personal check, business check, certified check or money order.” SB 113 would amend this last requirement, providing that the applicant must pay via “a method of payment approved by the Secretary.” For the reasons set forth below, this change is misguided and would impose additional barriers on applicants who lack the means to meet the State Police’s new requirements.

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How to Testify Before the Maryland General Assembly

With the 2019 Maryland General Assembly underway, it's a good time to brush up on how things work in Annapolis and how to let your voice be heard.

SPECIAL NOTE: BIG Testimony days ahead: Wednesday, 2/27 in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee

ARRIVE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, as cut-off for signing up to testify is at 11:15AM.
Written testimony must be submitted before 11AM.

 

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Hogan Signs Gun Control Bills Into Law!

Governor Hogan disregarded our veto requests and has signed the Handun Permit Review Board Bill (HB 819) , and the “red flag” bill (HB 1302). As detailed in our veto letters to the Governor (the letter on HB 819 can be found HERE, and HB 1302 letter can be found HERE), both bills were bad, but the HB 1302 “red flag” bill was the worst.

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Latest News

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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Response to “The handgun board that couldn't shoot straight.”

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. 

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Contact Info

Headquarters:

Maryland Shall Issue®, Inc.
1332 Cape St. Claire Rd #342
Annapolis, MD 21409

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