The stay has been lifted!
Maryland ––(Ammoland.com)- The US District Court for the District of Maryland has issued an order to dissolve the temporary stay of the ruling that declared the “good and substantial” clause of Maryland's carry permit law to be unconstitutional. The order will take effect on August 8th. You can read the District Court's order lifting the stay and the memorandum discussing the order here. District Court Order
This is undoubtedly fantastic news and a victory for the Second Amendment in Maryland. In the meantime, the state of Maryland may ask the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (CA4) for an emergency stay of the lower court's ruling.
Should they do so, CA4 will need to issue a ruling on the motion for an emergency stay. If the motion is denied, the Maryland State Police will be obligated to process carry permit applications without regard to the “good and substantial” clause that has kept the vast majority of Marylanders who want a carry permit from obtaining it. If CA4 grants the motion for a stay, nothing will change on the ground prior to CA4's ruling on the appeal of the case. It is also possible that the state does not ask for an emergency stay.
A word from Maryland Shall Issue and Maryland State Police
Yes, you read that right.
Maryland Shall Issue has been in regular communication with the Chief of the Maryland State Police Handgun Licensing Division during the period of the post-Woollard stay. We apologize that we could not talk about it until now.
Our collective goal was to open lines of communication that can be used to remedy issues, answer questions and better streamline the issuance of permits. This was all predicated on the stay being lifted. MSP has been professional and courteous. They have avoided the political and legal arguments, and have been focused on making the system work for all. As a law-enforcement organization it is not their job to play cheerleader. They are working to fulfill the law.
This message contains some useful information for you, direct from MSI and MSP. Please read it carefully.
- MSP has completed several hundred (365, actually) non-G&S application investigations. These are effectively “done” and ready for permit issuance in 14 days. Each must have one final background check completed to confirm nothing has changed in the meantime.
- To be clear, MSP says that absent an order from another court to stay their actions, they will issue those permits in accordance with the law, “immediately.” They have no intent on sitting on these any longer. They cannot issue anything before the 14-day window expires, as it would violate the law. Sit tight and hope we don't get another delay.
- Do not request a hearing unless your permit has been denied. MSP cannot process apps in the 90-day window right now, and if you ask for a hearing based on that fact, your application will be even further delayed. Every hearing requires significant work on the part of MSP, and the same people processing apps are the same people preparing the hearing.
- Pre-stay applications that were not returned are either done or in process. If your application was not returned, it is in work. We do not have a list of those who are complete. This would not only be a violation of privacy-protected information but would cause our email to explode with status requests.
- Likewise, the MSP cannot take people at the door and hand these out in 30 minutes or less. Calling every 10 minutes will slow things down. MSI will not broker requests for routine status. We will watch the process, for sure.
For those who have not yet applied, or previously had their applications returned:
- MSP sent back a number of applications a few months back. They did this because after the stay was issued, they would have been required to deny them outright. So as a matter of service, they sent back the application and your check so that you were not burned out of $75. All those conspiracy theories (us included) ignored the simple answer: they didn't feel right taking the money if they had no choice but to deny you. It was extra work on their part.
- MSP will accept non-G&S permit applications today. HOWEVER, if you apply in the next 13 days, you are taking some chance that you will lose your money if CA4 issues a stay. MSP is not going to hold or send back checks this time. That was a one-time deal. They are going to cash every single check the day it shows up. If you send a check today and CA4 issues a stay next week, your check is gone and your permit is denied. MSP/MSI advice is, “wait unless you don't mind losing the money.”
- MSP asks that you leave the REASON line blank on your application, unless you have a G&S reason. If you do, please go the full G&S route.
As for the future:
- We are talking about details of a new streamlined application process. MSP is trying to bring on more people to process applications, and they are pushing hard to modernize their permit application and processing system. Of all the things that could be a problem, their laminating/card machine is old and failing. Go figure.
- Some of the G&S investigations may well be moot. This is a lot of work for them. We'll see where this goes.
- Training: another topic for another day, but there will be a push for it this coming session. MSI's official stance has always been to not require it, but the fact is we will have to work to make sure any standard is reasonable and attainable. We would much rather be at the table, shaping the process, than out in the cold accepting whatever is decided in our absence.
On a personal note, we are moving forward. There is a chance that Attorney General Gansler connects on a “Hail Mary” pass in the next two weeks and we get another stay. We will leave such prognostications for others. But if a stay is handed down, we're back to waiting.
The good news is that Maryland State Police will issue permits in accordance with the law. They are interested in “professional, efficient service to all.” Everything we have seen and heard from Maryland State Police thus far suggests they mean it.Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.
1332 Cape Saint Claire Road #342
Annapolis, Maryland 21409
Mission Statement: Maryland Shall Issue is an all volunteer, non-partisan effort dedicated to the preservation and advancement of all gunowners' rights in Maryland, with a primary goal of CCW reform to allow all law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon; and to the education of the community to the awareness that ‘shall issue' laws have, in all cases, resulted in decreased rates of violent crime.