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

Full Federal District Court docket available HERE

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