Maryland Shall Issue® is an all-volunteer, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners' rights in Maryland.
Novotny v. Moore
Novotny v. Moore - Challenge to 2023 SB 1
On behalf of our members and in partnership with the Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition, Maryland Shall Issue and three individual plaintiffs are challenging unconstitutional aspects of SB 1, the so-called “Gun Safety Act of 2023” in the US District Court for the District of Maryland. SB 1 effectively nullifies the "general right to carry in public" for carry permit holders confirmed by the Supreme Court's decision NYSRPA v. Bruen just this last June. It does so by banning firearms in a whole host of locations otherwise open to the public, including places like stores and shops, restaurants, museums, and healthcare facilities. The suit also challenges the general ban on possession of firearms on public transit owned or controlled by the State Mass Transit Administration and in the tens of thousands of acres of woodlands in State parks, State forests, and State Chesapeake forest lands. We have every confidence that we will prevail in whole or in part in this suit.
Enforcement of SB 1 Preliminarily Enjoined In Part: On September 29, 2023, a federal district court enjoined enforcement of (1) that part of SB1 that presumptively banned carry by permit holders in privately owned buildings otherwise open to the public (2) that part of SB1 that flatly banned (except by the owner) firearms in locations licensed to serve alcohol for on-site consumption, and (3) that part of existing State law that banned firearms within 1000 feet of a demonstration. The Court's opinion can be found HERE and the Court's order can be found HERE.
A guide on the effects of the recent changes to legal handgun carry in Maryland can be found HERE.
Case Documents and History US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:23-cv-01295 (Note: this case has been consolidated with Kipke v. Moore. Filings before 7/13/23 reflect those submitted in Novotny, but all prospective filings will be added below.)
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Should you talk to your lawmakers about issues that affect your right to keep and bear arms for self-defense? Absolutely! Use these links to find the State lawmakers who represent you in the General Assembly and how to contact them. Always be civil and speak on how a bill or bills directly affect you.
Emails are ok. Phone calls are better. Visits are the best.
Find your representatives HERE Committee Contacts can be found HERE
Maryland Shall Issue® (MSI) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners' rights in Maryland. It seeks to educate the community about the right of self-protection, the safe handling of firearms, and the responsibility that goes with carrying a firearm in public. MSI is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization.
MSI disagrees strongly with the court’s opinion and will file a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In the meantime, we note that the county has repeatedly refused to suspend enforcement while the court challenges are pending. The county is thus free to enforce the ordinance at any time it so chooses. You can read more on the effects of Bill 21-22E HERE.
Separately, the parallel state claims presented in this suit are progressing before Montgomery County Circuit Court. The County has filed a motion for summary judgment in State court and, on July 5, 2023, plaintiffs have filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. You can find those pleadings HERE under Circuit Court for Montgomery County Case # 485899V. Briefing on these motions will continue into the fall.
Find all of the federal and state court briefings at the case page HERE.
We will provide further updates as appropriate.
On 11/28/2022, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich signed Bill 21-22E into law. The Bill goes into effect immediately. The Bill has now banned the possession, transport, sale or transfer of any firearm in countless locations across Maryland's most populous county. It is now legally very risky to carry a firearm in Montgomery County with a wear and carry permit. Bill 21-22E repealed the prior exemption for permit holders and then imposes its bans on a long list of locations, including within 100 yards of such locations. It is simply impossible, as a practical matter, to possess and transport a firearm in the County in public with a wear and carry permit in compliance with the County's gun laws. That is because it is nearly impossible to move around the County without entering one or more of the many 100-yard exclusion zones enacted by Bill 21-22E.
Literally, the entire urban area and many areas in the rural segments of Montgomery County are now off-limits for carry by permit holders, including Interstate 495 and Interstate 270 and Route 355 as well as the other major roads, highways and countless neighborhoods in the County. With the enactment of Bill 21-22E, carrying with a permit in the County will expose the permit holder to arrest and prosecution not only under County law (6 months imprisonment and a fine) but also to arrest and prosecution under MD Code, Public Safety, § 4-203(a), a violation of which is punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine. That is because the permit is not valid where firearms are prohibited by law (check the back of the permit). A conviction under Section 4-203(a) creates a lifetime disqualification from the possession of a firearm or ammunition under both federal and state law.
The day after Bill 21-22E went into effect, MSI responded to the bill's enactment by amending its existing lawsuit against the County in federal district court. Though the County Executive and Council may believe and pretend otherwise, Marylanders have a right to carry firearms for their personal defense in public. We have moved quickly to urge the Court to resolve the matter on an emergency basis by asking for leave to file a motion for an emergency TRO and preliminary injunction. Once leave is granted, that motion will be filed and, we hope, adjudicated expeditiously. Stay tuned.
With the bill's signature, it is now criminal to possess, sell, transfer, transport, or carry a firearm, with or without a carry permit, in or within 100 yards of any publicly or privately owned:
place of worship
community health center, including any health care facility or community-based program licensed by the Maryland Department of Health
long-term facility, including any licensed nursing home, group home, or care home
multipurpose exhibition facility, such as a fairgrounds or conference center
Bill 21-22E also criminalize firearms possession, transport, sale or transfer by any person (including permit holders) at or within 100 yards of a:
government building, including any place owned by or under the control of the County
legislative assembly, and
a gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional right to protest or assemble
This includes "all property associated with the place, such as a parking lot or grounds of a building." Essentially, roughly a football field's distance extends in every direction from all of these places and their grounds.
The exceptions are narrow. The [brackets] indicate where language exempting permit holders was removed by Bill 21-22E:
The bill also amended the County's ordinance concerning privately made firearms, in an (unsuccessful) attempt to make the County's existing ban on such firearms consistent with state and federal law concerning privately made firearms (which the County insists on mischaracterizing as "ghost guns"). Bill 21-22E squarely violates the Second Amendment in multiple ways under the Supreme Court's decision in Bruen and conflicts with State and federal laws governing privately owned firearms.
Stay tuned for further developments.
MSI cannot take on any of these challenges without your support. Don't be a free rider. Join or donate to MSI today.
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4500 Black Rock Road, Ste 103, Carroll County, Hampstead 21074, Carroll County, Maryland, United States
Maryland Shall Issue® (MSI) is an all volunteer, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners' rights in Maryland. It seeks to educate the community about the right of self-protection, the safe handling of firearms, and the responsibility that goes with carrying a firearm in public. MSI is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization.
Novotny v. Moore - Challenge against aspects of SB 1 and current public carry restrictions
Maryland Shall Issue, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and three individuals have challenged SB 1. That bill passed this last Session of the General Assembly places many unconstitutional restrictions on the right to carry with a permit in Maryland. The case is styled Novotny v. Moore and has been consolidated with Kipke v. Moore in federal district court in Baltimore. Kipke was brought by the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association. Plaintiffs in both cases have filed motions for preliminary injunctions and motions for summary judgment with the aim of stopping enforcement of certain restrictions placed by SB 1 by October 1st, the bill’s effective date. Briefing is ongoing in both cases and then the court will decide whether to hold an oral argument and simply move to the issuance of a decision. The court is not required to decide the case within any set time. We will provide updates of importance as they occur. Find all of the filings in both of these cases HERE.
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