Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Suit Forces Maryland to Clarify Gun Transfer Rules

Monday, June 24, 2013

With Maryland residents forced to wait up to 10 weeks for the approval of an application for the transfer of regulated firearms” (handguns or certain semi-automatic long-guns), in mid-June the Maryland State Police and Attorney General finally clarified their position on the state law governing the transfer process. The state was forced to do so by an NRA-sponsored lawsuit filed on behalf of several Maryland residents, along with groups including Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, the Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association and Maryland Shall Issue. 

Like many of their counterparts in the rest of the country, in late 2012 and into 2013, Maryland residents--rightly fearful of new restrictions on their right to keep and bear arms--purchased firearms in record numbers. But unlike in most states, purchases of handguns or certain semi-automatic long-guns in Maryland require a seven-day waiting period, during which a background check is conducted by the state police. Unprepared for such demand, the Maryland State Police soon became backlogged with applications, forcing prospective gun buyers to wait months to have their purchases approved in some cases.

On May 10, a complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief was filed on behalf of Maryland’s gun owners and firearms dealers, against Secretary of the Department of State Police Col. Marcus. L. Brown. Under Maryland law, “[i]f the Secretary disapproves a firearm application, the Secretary shall notify the prospective seller, lessor, or transferor in writing within 7 days after the date that the executed firearm application is forwarded to the Secretary.” The complaint made clear that Maryland’s failure to live up to this obligation, “burdened impermissibly the fundamental constitutional rights” of Maryland gun owners “to purchase and keep firearms for the purposes of self-defense in their homes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.” Further, the complaint noted that Maryland’s firearms dealers, represented by MLFDA, suffered economic harm from “having many thousands of dollars in inventory tied up for months at a time while awaiting receipt of notices regarding” customers’ fi               rearms applications.

The suit asked the court to force the state into making determinations on all applications within the seven days provided by law, and to immediately make determinations on the applications which have been pending for more than seven days. The suit also contended that in the case of an application which has been pending longer than seven days, a firearms dealer should be allowed to conduct the transaction prior to receiving a determination from the state police, without fear of prosecution or liability should the purchaser later be found to be prohibited from possessing a firearm.

In response, Maryland admitted that it was unable to keep up with firearm transfer applications. But in order to avoid litigation, in mid-June the Maryland State Police and Attorney General clarified its official position that under Maryland law a handgun or semi-automatic long-gun transfer from a firearms dealer may take place after seven days, if a dealer has not received notice of a determination on the purchaser’s application, without a dealer having to fear future punishment. The state police also gave the court a sworn statement that it is adding additional employees to help process firearms applications more efficiently in the near future. With these two concessions from the state, the lawsuit was withdrawn.

Maryland’s forced acknowledgement, which will help ameliorate the unacceptable delays experienced by its residents, is a great victory for gun owners in the sometimes seemingly misnamed “Free State,” and serves as a testament to the effectiveness of well-targeted NRA-sponsored litigation. Further, the entire episode shows some of the reasons why NRA vehemently opposes enactment of waiting period laws in the first place.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Maryland Maryland
TRENDING NOW
Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

This week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed multiple pro-gun bills, including House Bill 1721, House Bill 2323, and House Bill 2322. 

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Tonight, Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill 198 into law.

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

On Monday, March 27, the Texas Senate will convene after 2:00pm and is expected to take up and consider Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

Continuing to Fight in California

Friday, March 24, 2017

Continuing to Fight in California

We are excited to inform you of our new California specific webpage – Stand and Fight California.   On this page you will find State Legislation, Legal Updates, and How to Get Involved, among other California ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.