Maryland Shall Issue


On July 5th, 2022, Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement:

“Over the course of my administration, I have consistently supported the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms, while enacting responsible and common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

“Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits. It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols.

“Today’s action is in line with actions taken by other states in response to the recent ruling.”

In response, the Maryland State Police provided this advisory

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division is in the process of updating the Licensing Portal to reflect these changes. Until these updates are complete, applicants submitting a Wear and Carry Permit application are directed to select “Personal Protection / Category Not Listed Above” as their “Handgun Permit Category”. Applicants are not required to attach documents to the “PERSONAL PROTECTION DOCUMENTATION” section on the “Upload Documents” page of the Wear and Carry Permit application.

Additional information and a link to the Licensing Portal, can be found on the Maryland State Police website. Maryland State Police Licensing Division.

We welcome the Governor's order and the decision to comply with the Supreme Court's decision in Bruen. For the first time in decades, ordinary responsible, law-abiding citizens in Maryland will have their Second Amendment right for self-defense outside the home respected. We stress that permit holders, nationwide, are the most law-abiding persons there are, with crime rates far below that of commissioned police officers. The Second Amendment is not a threat to the public. It protects the right of self-defense and that protection is fully consistent with public safety.

For everything on how to apply for a Maryland Wear and Carry permit, check out our in-depth guide HERE.

We are pleased and gratified that Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement will no longer be enforced. MSI has pushed for that result for as long as it has existed and the Supreme Court has now confirmed that carry outside the home by responsible, law-abiding citizens is a fundamental constitutional right. At last, Marylanders will be treated like people in other "shall issue" jurisdictions, like the residents of 43 other States and the District of Columbia.

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"Good and Substantial Reason" is Unconstitutional

 

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6/24/2022

On June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen, striking down as unconstitutional New York's  "proper cause" requirement for issuance of a permit to carry a handgun in public. That decision is directly applicable to Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for the issuance of Maryland carry permits. MD Code, Public Safety, 5-306(b)(6)(ii). As Bruen now holds, the Maryland State Police (MSP) may not require any "good and substantial reason" before issuing a permit. The decision makes clear that law-abiding, responsible adults have a constitutional right to protect themselves beyond their homes with a handgun, which is the "quintessential self-defense" weapon, as the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). While we believe that the Court's holding in Bruen is clear, MSI is currently a party in Call v. Jones, which is a federal court challenge to the "good and substantial reason" requirement. This case is currently before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and was being held in abeyance (on pause) pending the outcome of Bruen. Now that Bruen has been decided, that case will proceed. Indeed, the Fourth Circuit has just issued an order setting a briefing schedule in that appeal.

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Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Anne Arundel County, MD - Bill 108-21

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On April 11, Maryland Shall Issue, along with four firearms and ammunition dealers, Field Traders, Cindy's Hot Shots, Pasadena Arms, and Worth-A-Shot, filed a suit in federal district court against Anne Arundel County, MD challenging Bill 108-21, an ordinance that mandates that sellers of firearms or ammunition within the county distribute county-prepared or sponsored literature with each sale and display the materials in their establishments. The complaint alleges that the ordinance is unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Anne Arundel County, MD - Bill 109-21

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Maryland Shall Issue, along with four dealers, Field Traders, Cindy's Hot Shots, Pasadena Arms, and Worth-A-Shot, have filed a suit in State court against Anne Arundel County, Maryland challenging the enactment of Bill 109-21. This ordinance targets firearms dealers by imposing onerous and vague security requirements as a condition on doing business within the County. The ordinance also imposes harsh fines and other penalties against firearms dealers not in compliance. Whether a dealer is in compliance is determined at the whim and caprice of the police.

In multiple counts, the suit alleges that the ordinance is an impermissible "general law" under the State Constitution and is inconsistent with and preempted by multiple State statutes. The suit also attacks the vague requirements as a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Maryland Constitution. The Plaintiffs are seeking declaratory judgment and an injunction against the enforcement of the ordinance. Citizens have a Second Amendment right to acquire firearms and dealers have the ancillary Second Amendment right to sell them. The Anne Arundel ordinance would drive up dealer costs and hamper the exercise of both those rights. Read the Amended Complaint HERE

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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.

Bianchi docket as of 011522

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

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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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MSI v. Montgomery County Update

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On June 16, 2021, we filed an emergency motion for partial summary judgment on three of our counts against Montgomery County's enactment of Bill 4-21. The motion seeks to enjoin the County from enforcing their new illegal laws which will go into effect on July 16th without action from the Court. Find the motion HERE and the memorandum in support HERE. As we have stated previously, we will not sit idle while politicians make criminals of ordinary and law-abiding residents. You can learn more and find updates about this case at tinyurl.com/msivmoco.

Taking these challenges is not possible without your support! Consider becoming a member of MSI, donating, or wearing MSI apparel or picking up our accessories.

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Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. et al v. Montgomery County, Maryland

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On May 28, 2021, Maryland Shall Issue, Engage Armament, ICE Firearms & Defensive Training, and several residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, filed suit against the County, challenging its enactment of Bill 4-21. That Bill criminalizes the mere possession of privately made firearms without providing compensation and redefines the meaning of "place of public assembly" to encompass virtually the entirety of Montgomery County just in order to criminalize otherwise perfectly lawful firearms possession in the home and elsewhere. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and an award of damages, including punitive damages. 

You can read the complaint HERE.
Further filings can be found below.

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Hulbert v. Pope: Awaiting a Ruling From 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

A Decision More Than Four Years in the Making, But No Jury Trial Date Yet

CASE SUMMARY: This lawsuit against Maryland Capitol Police Sgt. Brian T. Pope for violating the civil rights of two MSI members continues to progress in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, where the case has been briefed. This briefing includes an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief filed in March 2022 by the National Police Association on behalf of Sgt. Pope.

A U.S. District Court ruling in April 2021 denied qualified immunity to Sgt. Pope for his arrests of Jeff and Kevin Hulbert on the public sidewalk in front of the Maryland Statehouse in February 2018, and ordered this lawsuit to proceed to a jury trial on our claims.

However within days, in May 2021, the State filed a motion for reconsideration before the District Court and subsequently, an interlocutory appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. An interlocutory appeal, also known as an interim appeal, is one that is permitted at an intermediate stage of a case, either before a trial is commenced or a final resolution is reached. Interlocutory appeals are allowed by the Federal Rules of civil procedure only in specific circumstances, such as in this case, when there has been a denial of qualified immunity in the Court below. Their motion for reconsideration argued that Sgt. Pope should not have been denied qualified immunity by the District Court, asserting the Hulbert brothers’ arrests by Sgt. Pope were proper and that Kevin Hulbert’s video and audio recording of the police was not a “clearly established” First Amendment right. The Fourth Circuit would later remand the case back to the District Court for it to rule on the motion for reconsideration. That Court denied the motion and the State filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit.

We now await a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. With the Court now fully briefed as of May 2022, the Court may rule on our pending motion (filed in February 2022) to dismiss the State’s appeal without further briefing or oral argument.

Alternatively, the Court may order the parties to appear before a three-judge Fourth Circuit panel in Richmond, VA for oral argument; that panel would then rule on the State’s pending appeal.

IN MEMORIAM: Sadly, Jeff Hulbert, the lead plaintiff in this case, passed away on May 3, 2021, after a lengthy and valiant battle against cancer. Jeff’s daughter, his twin brother Kevin and other family members helped care for Jeff during his final days and were with Jeff at his bedside when he passed.  We at Maryland Shall Issue send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Hulbert.

Jeff was an outspoken and stalwart proponent of individual rights and a fierce supporter of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Jeff founded Patriot Picket with his brother Kevin in 2016. Patriot Picket "hits the bricks" of public sidewalks in Annapolis, throughout Maryland, the surrounding states, and the District of Columbia with stylized signs and pointed political messages in promotion and defense of those rights.

Please keep the Hulbert family in your thoughts and prayers; we will continue to remember and honor Jeff as this case progresses.

NOTE: Jeff’s passing does not end his association with this lawsuit. Jeff’s estate, administered by his brother Clayton, continues as a plaintiff. Clayton was appointed by the Court in July 2021 to represent Jeff’s estate in these proceedings, and at that time the legal title of this lawsuit was changed. Whereas Jeff was originally named as the lead plaintiff in this case, Clayton’s name now appears first for the plaintiffs in the revised case title as this lawsuit moves forward:

“CLAYTON R. HULBERT, as personal representative of the Estate of Jeffrey W. Hulbert; KEVIN HULBERT; MARYLAND SHALL ISSUE, INC., for itself and its members …”

CASE HISTORY: On the evening of February 5th, 2018, while holding edgy signs (with five fellow members of “Patriot Picket”) criticizing the powers that be in the General Assembly (and video-recording the demonstration and the approach of Maryland Capitol Police), two Maryland Shall Issue members were detained and arrested by Maryland Capitol Police Sgt. Brian T. Pope, handcuffed and then searched by him and other Maryland Capitol Police (MCP) officers on the Annapolis City sidewalk in front of the historic Maryland Statehouse.

Sgt. Pope had ordered them to move their peaceful, Constitutionally-protected sign-picketing demonstration from their chosen location on that public sidewalk to an area inside the adjacent Lawyers Mall, where the visibility of their signs and a banner to passersby would be obstructed by thick shrubbery growing in nearly waist-high planter boxes in Lawyers Mall.  Lawyers Mall itself is within the Statehouse grounds, and the use of it at that time required a permit.

Jeff and Kevin Hulbert refused Sgt. Pope’s order to leave the public sidewalk because neither nor their signs were blocking or obstructing the few pedestrians passing by them on the sidewalk:

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Jeff and Kevin Hulbert were transported separately by MCP officers to an Annapolis City PD precinct; escorted inside still in handcuffs, they were each then handcuffed to a steel bench in a booking room; they remained handcuffed until the issuance of criminal citations to them by Sgt. Pope, before being released.

Two additional criminal citations were issued to each of them the following day, also by Sgt. Pope, on orders from MCP Chief of Police Col. Michael Wilson, who was present and personally ordered that the additional citations be signed on the trunk of an MCP patrol cruiser parked at the foot of the Maryland Statehouse north steps, in full view of the public:

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Portions of the video below were recorded by Kevin Hulbert of the sign-picketing demonstration the previous evening at the very moment Sgt. Pope approached the group to order the Hulberts and the other sign picketers to leave the sidewalk.

(Kevin Hulbert’s First Amendment right to record this video has become a key element in this lawsuit: the State argues on appeal that Kevin Hulbert had no “clearly established” right, by any precedent declared by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to record police in the public performance of their duties.)

The video below also depicts the arrival of additional MCP and Annapolis City PD officers, the subsequent arrest of the Hulbert brothers, and the issuance of the additional criminal citations to them the following day:


Video of arrests on 2/5/2018 - "1st Amendment Under Attack"

Within days Jeff and Kevin Hubert retained the distinguished Maryland civil rights attorney Cary Hansel of Hansel Law; joined by MSI (for itself and its members) as co-plaintiffs, a civil rights lawsuit was filed only nine days later in Federal District Court in Baltimore for the violation of their First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights.

Jeff Hulbert, depicted below in the Hansel Law conference room, displays a set of the three criminal citations issued to both him and his brother Kevin by the MCP following their arrest:

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The arresting officer, MCP Sgt. Brian Pope, and the MCP Chief of Police Col. Michael Wilson, were named as defendants in our lawsuit; they are both represented by counsel from the Maryland State Attorney General's Office.

In an opening gambit, the defendants first moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim, but that effort failed when the District Court didn't buy it. Then a lengthy legal discovery process ensued, which was further delayed by the COVID pandemic.

That discovery showed that the arrest of the Hulbert brothers that night could be traced to a call from the Governor's mansion requesting MCP to move the group because the "mansion" did not want to be bothered with questions or attempts at conversation by the Patriot Picket demonstrators.

Everyone, including the two MCP defendants (as well as other officers from the Maryland Capitol Police and the Maryland State Police), admitted in their court-ordered depositions during discovery that these orders came from the "mansion," but, amazingly, no one at the "mansion" could identify who gave the orders. We did discover that such orders happen as often as twice a month, or whenever someone at the "mansion" decides that the "mansion" does not want to deal with completely peaceful protestors lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. We can only speculate as to the identity of this "mansion" person.

When discovery was finally completed, defendants once again sought dismissal, this time through a motion for summary judgment. That effort likewise failed on Friday, April 23, 2021, when the Court issued an opinion denying the State's motions for summary judgment on our First Amendment and Fourth Amendment Constitutional claims.

The District Court held that there were "disputed issues" of fact that precluded summary judgment on our First Amendment claim (unlawful interference with the First Amendment right to demonstrate on the public sidewalk) and the Fourth Amendment claim (the arrests were made without probable cause of any crime) by the MCP arresting officer, Sgt. Pope.

In so holding, the District Court also held that there was a "clearly established" First Amendment right for Kevin Hulbert to record video and audio of the police in a public setting, and that disputed issues of fact precluded summary judgment for the defendants as to whether Sgt. Pope's arrest of Kevin Hulbert interfered with that right.

Finally, the Court rejected the State's argument that MSI should be dismissed from the lawsuit on standing grounds. The District Court did dismiss (wrongly in our view) the counts against the MCP Chief of Police, Col. Michael Wilson. 

So, presuming we prevail at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a jury trial in District Court against Sgt. Pope is next. That will take time to happen. By law (the Speedy Trial Act), criminal trials receive priority over civil cases and the COVID pandemic has effectively resulted in a backup of jury trials in civil cases. We hope to get a trial date within the next year.

With this and other cases, MSI has moved to the forefront in advocating for and protecting our First Amendment and Second Amendment rights against infringement at the county, state, and national levels in fundamentally important ways.

Whether advocating for our rights on public sidewalks, lobbying at the State Capitol, testifying in legislative hearing rooms, or filing legal challenges in State and Federal courts, MSI members and our organizational leadership know from personal experience that the First Amendment protects the Second Amendment, and the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, including unlawful arrests, as is alleged to have occurred in this case.

Stay tuned. Click the links below to read the relevant documents in the docket for this case. The most recent filings appear at the bottom of this list:


Case Documents and History
US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:18-cv-00461-SAG

2/14/18 - Complaint
9/23/19 - MOTION to Quash, MOTION for Protective Order by Boyd K. Rutherford
10/7/19 - RESPONSE in Opposition re MOTION to Quash MOTION for Protective Order
1/31/20 - MOTION for Reconsideration of Lt. Governor Rutherford's Motion to Quash
12/16/20 - Joint MOTION for Summary Judgment on behalf of Defendants
2/10/21 - RESPONSE in Opposition re Joint MOTION for Summary Judgment
2/11/21 - Supplemental to Response in Opposition to Motion
3/5/21 - REPLY to Response to Motion re Joint MOTION for Summary Judgment on behalf of Defendants
4/22/21 - Memorandum Opinion
4/22/21 - ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
5/7/21 - Defendant's motion re Memorandum Opinion and Order
5/20/21 - Defendant's Notice of Interlocutory Appeal as to Memorandum Opinion, Order on Motion for Summary Judgment
6/21/21 - ORDER STAYING CASE pending the outcome of the interlocutory appeal

See Full Docket for Free in CourtListener

US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1608

5/24/21 - Docketed
6/8/21 - Briefing Order
7/2/21 - Appellant's Amended Suggestion of Death
7/6/21 - Appellees' Motion to Substitute Party
7/6/21 - Appellees' Response to Suggestion of Death
7/7/21 - Order Granting Motion to Substitute Party
7/16/21 - Defendant-Appellant's Response Re: Suggestion of Death
7/19/21 - Defendant's MOTION to suspend briefing pending resolution of a motion for reconsideration, to extend filing time for opening brief and appendix until August 18, 2021
7/19/21 - Order Granting Motion to extend filing time
8/6/21 - Appellee’s Opposition To Appellant’s Motion To Suspend Briefing Pending Resolution Of The Motion For Reconsideration Or, In The Alternative, For A 30-Day Extension
8/18/21 - Order Directing Parties to File Memoranda
9/1/21 - Appellees’ Memorandum Regarding Jurisdiction
9/1/21 - Defendant-Appellant Sgt. Brian T. Pope’s Memorandum On Jurisdiction
9/7/21 - Order Remanding Case in regards to Motion for Reconsideration

On Remand to US District Court for the District of Maryland

9/7/21 - Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration
9/28/21 - Reply Memorandum In Support Of Defendant Sgt. Brian T. Pope’s Motion For Reconsideration
10/6/21 - Opinion Denying Defendant Sgt. Pope's Motion for Reconsideration
10/6/21 - Order Denying Defendant Sgt. Pope's Motion for Reconsideration

On appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1608

11/12/21 - Briefing Schedule - Joint appendix and opening brief due 1/24/22. Response due 2/23/22.
1/24/22 - Brief of Appellant (State)
2/23/22 - Appellees Consent Motion to Extend Time
2/23/22 - Appellees Motion to Dismiss Appeal
2/24/22 - Response Requested on Appellees Motion to Dismiss by 3/7/22
2/24/22 - Order on Appellees Consent Motion to Extend Time
3/1/22 - Brief of Amicus Curiae National Police Association in Support of Defendant-Appellant Brian T. Pope
3/7/22 - Appellant's Opposition To Appellees’ Motion To Dismiss Appeal
3/10/22 - NOTICE by Clayton R. Hulbert and Kevin Hulbert that a reply will be filed
3/14/22 - Appellee’s Reply To Defendants’ Opposition To Motion To Dismiss
3/24/22 - Brief of Appellees
3/28/22 - CORRECTED Brief of Appellees
4/15/22 - MOTION by Brian T. Pope to extend filing time for reply brief until May 6, 2022
4/15/22 - ORDER filed granting Motion to extend filing time. Number of days granted: 18. Any Reply brief due 05/06/2022.
5/6/22 - Reply Brief of Appellant


March Litigation Update and Other News



1. The Rapid Fire Trigger Activator case:  The Supreme Court case is MSI v. Hogan, No. 20-855 (US).  There, MSI and the individual plaintiffs have challenged as a Taking Maryland's ban on possession of previously lawfully owned and acquired "rapid fire trigger activators."  We lost that challenge in the Fourth Circuit in a split 2-1 decision, with a compelling and lengthy dissent by Judge Richardson. MSI v. Hogan, 963 F.3d 356 (4th 2020). We have thus filed a petition for certiorari with Supreme Court, asking the Court to review the Fourth Circuit's ruling.  MSI also filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in The Modern Sportsman, LLC v. United States, No. 20-1077 (Fed. Cir.), where a similar Takings issue is pending arising from the ATF's regulatory ban on bump stocks. That case was heard by the Federal Circuit at oral argument on December 8 and a decision is pending. The theory is simple:  If the government is going to ban the possession of lawfully acquired private property and thereby destroy all property rights in that property, then the State should pay for it. The State's Opposition to our petition for certiorari is due on March 29, after which we will file a reply brief. We may have a decision by the Court on whether to hear the case in late April or May. If the petition is granted, the case will be fully briefed over the summer with oral argument likely in the Fall. 

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New Challenge to Maryland's Handgun Carry Ban

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Call v. Jones III     

    On behalf of our members, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in bringing a new legal challenge to Maryland’s unconstitutional ‘wear and carry’ permit requirements.


     The ‘good and substantial reason’ requirement for issuance of a permit imposed by Maryland law has long been used to effectively disqualify the vast majority of law-abiding Marylanders of their right to carry a handgun for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The time has come to end Maryland’s subjective and discriminatory law and regulations. The people of Maryland have a fundamental right to protect themselves in public.

Read the complaint
HERE
 
You can follow the case's progress HERE
 

Case Documents and History
US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 1:20-cv-03304-DKC

11/13/20 - Complaint
12/7/20 - Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss
12/21/20 - Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
3/19/21 - Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
3/26/21 - Notice of Appeal to US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1334

5/7/21 - Joint Motion to Hold Appeal in Abeyance
5/7/21 - Order Granting Motion to Suspend Briefing
5/10/21 - Order Granting Motion to Hold in Abeyance
6/24/22 - Briefing Order (Scheduling)


9th Circuit Rules Magazines Capable of Holding more than 10 Rounds are Protected by the 2nd Amendment

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On August 14th, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled 2-1 that magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition are indeed protected by the 2nd Amendment. As such, California's ban on the possession of these common items has been found unconstitional by the court. We welcome and agree with the majority opinion. California can seek rehearing en banc before a panel of 11 judges in the 9th Circuit and/or file a petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.

You can read the opinion in Duncan v Becerra HERE


Handgun Qualification License ON TRIAL!

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We are pleased that the court of appeals has allowed this important Second Amendment challenge to the Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL) to proceed to the merits.  We look forward to further proceedings in District Court.

You can read the opinion from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit HERE


Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators

 MSIvHogan 18 2474 4CA Opinion

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

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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


Maryland Shall Issue Argues Against the HQL Before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Maryland Shall Issue, Inc., its members and Atlantic Guns were represented in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Richmond, VA) on the morning of May 6th via teleconference, appealing the lower court's dismissal of the Maryland Handgun Qualification License lawsuit on standing grounds.

MSI and it's members consider the HQL requirement (and it's provisions, such as one live round, fees, fingerprinting, etc.) an egregious infringement upon the rights of Marylanders to acquire the means to their own defense.

Please consider supporting MSI's and its all volunteer membership's efforts, on your behalf, by joining and/or donating to our shared cause.

Listen to the oral argument recording of Maryland Shall Issue, inc. v Lawrence Hogan (19-1469) below

You can find additional info, including briefs in this case and info on 2nd Amendment-related challenges across the country in the Litigation Tracker.


Shooting Ranges and Dealers Are Critical Infrastructure and May Remain Open!

Gun Ranges and and Federal Firearms Licensees may remain open!

Governor Hogan's latest order (dated March 30, 2020) states:

This Order controls the occupancy and use of all businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities that are not part of the critical infrastructure sectors identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (currently described at https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19) (collectively, “Non-Essential Businesses”).

That cross reference to the DHS website is controlling as to the scope of the Governor's definition of "non-essential businesses."  Stated differently, the order expressly does NOT apply to businesses that are part of the "critical infrastructure sectors," as defined by DHS.  That cross reference thus requires reference to the DHS site in order to determine what is a "critical infrastructure" business. 

At that DHS website is the Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response Version 2.0 (March 28, 2020), available at https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA_Guidance_on_the_Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workforce_Version_2.0_Updated.pdf.  That document sets out the "identified essential critical infrastructure workers," which includes:  "Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges."  Those businesses may remain open, including "firearm or ammunition . . . retailers" and "shooting ranges." 

We endorse the Governor's recommendations for safe practices while at these facilities.  See https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/.  If you have any questions on the scope of the Governor's orders, you should consult your lawyer.  The Governor's orders have the force of law and a violation of the orders is a criminal misdemeanor.  See MD Code, Public Safety, § 14-114. 

Link to Governor Hogan's Fourth Executive Order

Link to the latest guidance from the Department of Homeland Security


Gun Case Tracker

This tracker features briefs, orders, and statuses of important gun-related litigation from around the country, including MSI's.
Generously provided and maintained by Rob Romano at 2Aupdates and Firearms Policy Coalition.

Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. Litigation
Current
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v. Anne Arundel County (1st Amendment, Firearms Dealers Requirements) - United States District Court for the District Court of Maryland Case# 1:22-cv-00865
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v. Anne Arundel County (Pre-Emption, Firearms Dealers Requirements) - Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, MD Case# C-02-CV-22-000217
Maryland Shall Issue Inc et al. v. Montgomery County (Pre-Emption, Privately-made firearms, Carry Prohibitions) - Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD Case# 485899-V
In the Matter of Edward Whalen, No. C-03-CV-21-000853 (Balt. Co Cir.Ct) - Challenging applicant's denial of a permit for lack of "good and substantial reason." This case had been held in abeyance by Baltimore County Circuit Court pending the outcome in Bruen. See the newly filed Petitioner's Motion for Summary Reversal HERE. Notice of Supplemental Authorities HERE.
Call v Jones III (Carry Permits) - United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1334
Hulbert v Pope (1st Amendment, Unlawful Arrest) - United States District Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-1608
Maryland Shall Issue Inc, et al. v Hogan
(Handgun Qualification License) - United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Case# 21-2017

None of this litigation or any of the work we're able to do would be possible without your generous support. Please consider joining us if you're not a member. If you already are, encourage a friend or family member to sign-up! Wear your supportpick up some MSI Empty Chamber Indicators, or donate. It is all greatly appreciated.


Past
Maryland Shall Issue v Hogan (2018 SB707, RFTA takings) - Fourth Circuit upheld MD's takings of personally held property (bump stocks, binary triggers, etc...) without just compensation - Cert Denied by US Supreme Court
Whalen v Handgun Permit Review Board (Good and substantial reason) - MD Court of Special Appeals Case# CSA-REG-2431-2018 - Dismissed
Kolbe v Hogan ("Assault Weapons," magazine capacity restrictions) - Fourth Circuit upheld MD's weapons and magazine bans, Cert Denied by US Supreme Court
John Doe, et al vs Marcus L Brown, et al (Maryland State Police mishandling of personal data) - Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County Case# 02-C-13-181857 - Voluntarily dismissed
Doe, et al vs Brown, et al - Circuit Court for Baltimore County Case# 03-C-13-005388 - Dismissed

MSI Amicus Filings
District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 07-290
AMICUS BRIEF OF GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, ET AL. IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENT
McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 08-1521
AMICUS BRIEF OF GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, ET AL. IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS
Holloway v Rosen (2021) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 20-782
AMICUS BRIEF OF MONTANA SHOOTING SPORTS ASSOCIATION IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
The Modern Sportsman, LLC v United States of America (2021) - United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Case# 20-1107
AMICUS BRIEF OF MARYLAND SHALL ISSUE, INC., IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANTS AND REVERSAL
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) - Supreme Court of the United States Case# 20-843
AMICUS BRIEF OF SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION, ET AL. IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS AND REVERSAL

Non-MSI Cases of Interest in Maryland

Snowden v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 413 A.2d 295, 45 Md.App. 464 (Md. App. 1980) - Upholding a reading of "good and substantial reason" to mean that the applicant bears the burden of demonstrating specifically why they need to carry a handgun more than their personal anxiety or say-so
Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 163 Md.App. 417, 880 A.2d 1137 (Md. App. 2005) - Re-affirming the Court of Special Appeals' prior holdings in Snowden, and additionally rejecting 2nd Amendment arguments in support of the right to keep and bear arms
Williams v. State, 417 Md. 479, 10 A.3d 1167 (Md. 2011) - Holding that regulations on carrying firearms outside the home are "outside of the scope of the Second Amendment, as articulated in Heller and McDonald"
Woollard v. Gallagher, 712 F.3d 865 (4th Cir. 2013) - US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld MD's "good and substantial reason" requirement for wear and carry permit eligibility, Cert Denied by US Supreme Court
Lawrence v. State, 475 Md. 384, 257 A.3d 588 (Md. 2021) (Prohibition on wear, carry, transport of handguns - Mens Rea) - Maryland Court of Appeals rules that a violation of Md. Criminal Law § 4-203(a)(1)(i) is a strict liability crime

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Latest News

Maryland Shall Issue


On July 5th, 2022, Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement:

“Over the course of my administration, I have consistently supported the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms, while enacting responsible and common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

“Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in New York law pertaining to handgun permitting that is virtually indistinguishable from Maryland law. In light of the ruling and to ensure compliance with the Constitution, I am directing the Maryland State Police to immediately suspend utilization of the ‘good and substantial reason’ standard when reviewing applications for Wear and Carry Permits. It would be unconstitutional to continue enforcing this provision in state law. There is no impact on other permitting requirements and protocols.

“Today’s action is in line with actions taken by other states in response to the recent ruling.”

In response, the Maryland State Police provided this advisory

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division is in the process of updating the Licensing Portal to reflect these changes. Until these updates are complete, applicants submitting a Wear and Carry Permit application are directed to select “Personal Protection / Category Not Listed Above” as their “Handgun Permit Category”. Applicants are not required to attach documents to the “PERSONAL PROTECTION DOCUMENTATION” section on the “Upload Documents” page of the Wear and Carry Permit application.

Additional information and a link to the Licensing Portal, can be found on the Maryland State Police website. Maryland State Police Licensing Division.

We welcome the Governor's order and the decision to comply with the Supreme Court's decision in Bruen. For the first time in decades, ordinary responsible, law-abiding citizens in Maryland will have their Second Amendment right for self-defense outside the home respected. We stress that permit holders, nationwide, are the most law-abiding persons there are, with crime rates far below that of commissioned police officers. The Second Amendment is not a threat to the public. It protects the right of self-defense and that protection is fully consistent with public safety.

For everything on how to apply for a Maryland Wear and Carry permit, check out our in-depth guide HERE.

We are pleased and gratified that Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement will no longer be enforced. MSI has pushed for that result for as long as it has existed and the Supreme Court has now confirmed that carry outside the home by responsible, law-abiding citizens is a fundamental constitutional right. At last, Marylanders will be treated like people in other "shall issue" jurisdictions, like the residents of 43 other States and the District of Columbia.

Read more ...

"Good and Substantial Reason" is Unconstitutional

 

6/24/2022

On June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen, striking down as unconstitutional New York's  "proper cause" requirement for issuance of a permit to carry a handgun in public. That decision is directly applicable to Maryland's "good and substantial reason" requirement for the issuance of Maryland carry permits. MD Code, Public Safety, 5-306(b)(6)(ii). As Bruen now holds, the Maryland State Police (MSP) may not require any "good and substantial reason" before issuing a permit. The decision makes clear that law-abiding, responsible adults have a constitutional right to protect themselves beyond their homes with a handgun, which is the "quintessential self-defense" weapon, as the Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). While we believe that the Court's holding in Bruen is clear, MSI is currently a party in Call v. Jones, which is a federal court challenge to the "good and substantial reason" requirement. This case is currently before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and was being held in abeyance (on pause) pending the outcome of Bruen. Now that Bruen has been decided, that case will proceed. Indeed, the Fourth Circuit has just issued an order setting a briefing schedule in that appeal.
Read more ...

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

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