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

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.


MSI had testified before the Council last winter that Bill 4-21 was a bad idea on many fronts. The Council nonetheless insisted on making criminals of law-abiding people. The County was undeterred by the many Maryland state laws and precedent from the Court of Appeals (Maryland's highest Court) that make clear that localities lack the power to enact new gun laws like Bill 4-21. 

MSI will not stand idly by while State or local officials pursue ideological legal vendettas against MSI members and the public. But litigation is never cheap or easy so we rely on YOUR support in order to defend your rights. Don't be a free rider --  donate to MSI or join us today.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Case Documents and History
Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD Case# 485899V
5/28/21 - Complaint
6/16/21 - Emergency Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
6/16/21 - Memorandum in Support of Emergency Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
7/13/21 - Defendant's Notice of Removal to Federal U.S. District Court, Filed. Case Closed.
7/15/21 - Hearing on motion for Partial Summary Judgment scheduled (Cancelled - Case removed to Federal Ct.).

US District Court for the District of Maryland Case# 8:21-cv-01736-TDC
7/12/21 - NOTICE OF REMOVAL from Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, case number 485899V
7/13/21 - Standing Order Concerning Removal Notice of Removal
7/13/21 - Defendant's Response re Standing Order Concerning Removal
7/19/21 - Defendant's Notice of Intent to file Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Dismiss
7/21/21 - Plaintiffs' Notice of Intent to file Motion to Sever and Remand State Law Claims and To Hold Federal Vagueness Claim in Abeyance Pending a Resolution of the State Law Claims
7/23/21 - Plaintiffs' Notice of Intent to Submit the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Counts I, II, and IV and Notice of Intent to File Motion Seeking Sanctions Under Rule 11, FRCP, for the County’s Wrongful Delay Tactics and Willful Failure To Comply With Local Rule 103 5. b).
8/4/21 - Plaintiffs’ Motion to Sever and to Remand All State Law Claims Removed by the Defendant and to Hold in Abeyance the Sole Remaining Federal Claim Until Completion of the State Court Proceedings
8/18/21 - Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Sever and Remand to State Court
8/22/21 - Plaintiffs’ Corrected Reply In Support Of Plaintiffs’ Motion To Sever And To Remand
2/7/22 - Memorandum Opinion
2/7/22 - ORDER granting in part and denying in part Motion to Remand to State Court

Full Federal District Court docket available HERE

Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD Case# 485899V
2/18/22 - Case transferred from United States District Court
2/18/22 - Order remanding case back to Montgomery County Circuit Court
2/22/22 - Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or, alternatively for Summary Judgment
2/22/22 - Memorandum In Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss/Summary Judgment
2/22/22 - Defendant's Motion to Exceed page limitation
2/22/22 - Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
2/22/22 - Plaintiffs' Motion to Exceed page limitation
2/22/22 - Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
2/24/22 - Transfer of original record from United States District Court
3/7/22 - Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendant’s Motion For Summary Judgment and Motion to Dismiss
4/14/22 - Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Memorandum Regarding Enactment of Senate Bill 387 and House Bill 425 Into Law and Motion for Expedited Hearing and Decision
4/14/22 - Plaintiffs' Proposed Order on Motion to Expedite
4/20/22 - Notice of Hearing Date - Scheduled for May 23, 2022, at 10am Remotely
5/12/22 - Defendant's Reply To Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Memorandum Regarding Enactment Of Senate Bill 387 And House Bill 425 Into Law
5/16/22 - Plaintiffs’ Motion To Exceed Page Limitation On Memorandum In Response To Defendant’s Submission Concerning HB 425 And SB 387
5/16/22 - Plaintiffs’ Memorandum In Response To Defendant’s Submission Concerning HB 425 And SB 387
5/16/22 - Written Testimony Of Mark W. Pennak, President, MSI, In Opposition To HB 425 And SB 387 (Exh. A)

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



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