Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

NRA-Supported Suit Prompts Maryland to Protect Gun Purchaser Privacy

Friday, January 17, 2014

In the wake of another NRA-sponsored lawsuit, the Maryland State Police on September 19, 2013, announced the termination of a program which shared sensitive personal information of firearms purchasers with state agencies and employees that were unauthorized to receive it. Joining NRA in the suit were the Maryland Licensed Firearm Dealers Association, Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, and Maryland Shall Issue. The victory marked the second time in 2013 that Maryland authorities executed an abrupt about-face after the filing of an NRA-backed lawsuit aimed at protecting the “Free-State’s” gun owners.

The problem addressed by the lawsuit stemmed from Maryland’s redundant background check, seven-day waiting period, and registration process, which subjects purchasers of handguns and some semi-automatic long-guns to an additional 77R application. In 2013, Maryland, like much of the country, experienced a steep increase in gun sales due to federal and state attempts to curb the right to bear arms. The situation in Maryland was particularly acute, as Governor Martin O’Malley pushed for, and succeeded in enacting, strict new gun controls, including new licensing requirements for handgun purchasers and a ban on popular semiautomatic firearms.

The sharp increase in gun purchases created a severe backlog in the State Police’s system for processing 77R applications. In some cases, prospective buyers were forced to wait 10 weeks for their applications to go through and to take possession of their firearms. An NRA suit aimed at targeting the State Attorney General and the Maryland State Police provided some relief by forcing the state to acknowledge that a dealer could release a firearm to a buyer after the seven-day waiting period without State Police approval of their application, but the backlog of applications remained.

In a misguided attempt to relieve the backlog, Governor Martin O’Malley directed the creation of an “all hands on deck” approach that drafted employees of other state agencies to help process the 77R forms. As a result, sensitive gun owner information -- including mental health and criminal records, Social Security numbers, and residential addresses -- was exposed to at least five state agencies outside the State Police. According to a September 7th news release by the Maryland State Police, these agencies included “the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Department of Human Resources, and the Department of Juvenile Services.” 

An NRA-sponsored motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was filed on behalf of several state-level pro-gun organizations, demanding a halt to the “all hands” approach for processing 77R applications. The suit cited vulnerabilities in the State Police’s system for sharing the firearm purchaser information with other agencies, and noted the difference in screening procedures for the non-police personnel. Further, state law specifically requires State Police personnel to handle aspects of the 77R application process.

After the motion was filed, the state announced that the “all hands” approach was “terminated.” In addition, the state filed affidavits attesting that in the future only Department of Public Safety and Corrections personnel would be used for 77R processing, along with Maryland State Police employees, and that the Public Safety and Corrections staff will be relegated to data entry.

In this case, well-targeted litigation helped to ensure a measure of security for the sensitive information of Maryland’s gun purchasers. However, the Maryland regulated firearms application backlog is an important illustration of the dangers to individual rights and security posed by redundant state background check and registration systems that require disclosure of a gun purchaser’s personal information as a prerequisite for exercising a fundamental right.

TRENDING NOW
Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate ...

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

Despite no longer living in the White House, former President Barack Obama continues to be a headache to law-abiding Americans. On May 30, Obama spoke at a digital innovation event in Brazil. During the onstage ...

Governor Abbott Signs Ten Pro-Second Amendment Bills into Law

Monday, June 17, 2019

Governor Abbott Signs Ten Pro-Second Amendment Bills into Law

Governor Greg Abbott has now signed all of the NRA-supported legislation which the Texas Legislature sent him during the 2019 session.

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

On June 4-5, the annual Yale Mayors College & CEO Summit was held in New York City. The theme of this year’s CEO Summit was “Trumpeting the Issues without Becoming the Issue: Selective Use of CEO Voice.” ...

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

Amy Dickinson is an advice columnist who, according to the company that syndicates her work, “combines storytelling with advice that is rooted with honesty and trust.” “Ask Amy” appears in newspapers that include The Baltimore Sun, ...

Bloomberg Course: Ineffective Policies and Non-Existent Technology

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Bloomberg Course: Ineffective Policies and Non-Existent Technology

This week in the online course “Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Change” is a real rollercoaster. Week Five is titled “Regulating Gun Design, Enforcing Gun Laws, and Reducing Police-Involved Shootings” covers so-called assault ...

I wish the gay community were more accepting of gun supporters. I should know.

WashingtonPost.com  

Monday, June 17, 2019

I wish the gay community were more accepting of gun supporters. I should know.

Last June, I attended my first Pride parade. I’m a 24-year-old gay man, and the downtown D.C. event came two months after I started my new job as social media manager for the National Rifle Association. ...

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

After signing six gun control measures into law a year ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that “Our work is far from done.” Several new bills are now making the rounds in a state already notorious ...

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

California: Anti-Gun bills still moving forward and more scheduled to be heard next week

Friday, June 14, 2019

California: Anti-Gun bills still moving forward and more scheduled to be heard next week

Next Tuesday, June 18, the Senate Public Safety Committee is scheduled to hear anti-gun bills, AB 12 and AB 61.  On Wednesday, June 19, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Senate Bill 220. 

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.