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
NRA Member Berated for Carrying Firearm

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

NRA Member Berated for Carrying Firearm

NRA member Darrell Kennedy was on vacation with his family at Yellowstone National Park earlier this month when an anti-gun vacationer snapped a photo of his holstered firearm and tweeted out a hate message. “Sat ...

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

Bill and Hillary Clinton just don’t draw like they used to. Shunned by much of his own party, (described by one Vanity Fair commentator as “2020’s bubonic plague”) the former president has been relegated to providing lazy ...

Amnesty International’s Desperate Measure

News  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Amnesty International’s Desperate Measure

There are some odd dynamics in international relations. Countries in which people are not free serve on the UN Human Rights Council. Political considerations guide every action.  Of course, the NRA is a single-issue organization so ...

Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Oppose Gun Control

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Oppose Gun Control

In the wake of the recent two criminal mass attacks, a number of gun control proposals have begun to circulate in our nation’s capital. None of these proposals would have prevented the recent tragedies, but they all ...

California: Appropriations Committees Send Bills to the Suspense File

Thursday, August 15, 2019

California: Appropriations Committees Send Bills to the Suspense File

On Monday, August 12, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent AB 1254 to the suspense file and rescheduled AB 1669 to be heard next Monday, August 19. On Wednesday, August 14, the Assembly Appropriations Committee sent SB 172 ...

“Universal” Background Checks Aren’t as Universally Popular as You’ve Been Led to Believe

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

“Universal” Background Checks Aren’t as Universally Popular as You’ve Been Led to Believe

Advocates of so-called “universal” background checks constantly cite their own polling data to claim that the vast majority of Americans support these measures. But, when these measures have actually been presented to voters, support is ...

Important Statement from NRA CEO & Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

News  

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Important Statement from NRA CEO & Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

The NRA will work in good faith to pursue real solutions to the epidemic of violence in America.

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the two-dozen Democrat presidential hopefuls vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, has been promoting her anti-gun platform for many months. This isn’t really news, as ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Virginia: Oppose Gov. Northam’s Gun Grab, Attend Public Hearing

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Virginia: Oppose Gov. Northam’s Gun Grab, Attend Public Hearing

On Tuesday, August 20th, the Virginia State Crime Commission will be accepting public comments as part of its August 19th-20th hearings on Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed gun control bills.  During the July 9th special session, the General ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.