Last week Maryland Shall Issue, Atlantic Guns, and four Maryland citizens named Gov. Larry Hogan and state police officials as plaintiffs in a case brought to challenge the state’s current Handgun Qualification License requirements in a federal court last week.
This group claims that the licensing process that is in place, to buy handguns in Maryland is unnecessary due to the fact that gun buyers currently already need a federal background check at the point of sale.
Maryland Shall Issue said the requirements create obstacles that block residents from exercising their right to buy a handgun. “That result is wrong and simply cannot be meekly accepted without a fight. That fight is now on,” the group said.
Signed by Governor Martin O’Malley, the current measure being challenged not only affects Maryland citizens permit to purchase but also has a portion regarding an assault weapon ban and other measures that led to firearms maker Beretta moving some operations out of the state.
While the assault weapon ban and the bill overall is being debated in a long-running lawsuit the latest legal challenge sets its sights only on the permit to purchase scheme.
Under current guidelines, the Maryland State Police collect a $17 fingerprint fee, $18 to check state criminal records, a $14.50 charge to do the same for federal criminal records, and a $50 application fee. This is over and above any cost associated with the mandatory four-hour firearms safety course.
“The underlying intent and practical effect of these requirements is the disenfranchisement of Second Amendment rights for the poor and disadvantaged who may be concentrated in such urban areas and who may lack the means to travel to rural areas for live fire instruction,” according to court documents.
The plaintiffs in this case are seeking to stop the state from enforcing the current mandates on Second Amendment grounds.