Judge Leaves Maryland Gun Owners Out to Dry Over MD’s “Gun Oil Ban”

Gun Oil Ban
Judge Leaves Maryland Gun Owners Out to Dry Over MD's “Gun Oil Ban”

Maryland – -(AmmoLand.com)- Last week United States District Court Judge James K. Bredar denied Maryland Shall Issue's motion for temporary relief against the State’s ban on possession of “Rapid Fire Trigger Activators” by SB 707, signed into law by the Governor on April 24, 2018.

This means the law will go into effect as passed on October 1st, 2018. That's just two weeks from now. However, while the case is pending, the judge made it clear that he believes all that’s needed to comply with the law is for the existing owner to send a letter applying for authorization to possess the “devices” covered by SB 707 to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) by 10/01/2018. That is the “grandfather” clause contained in SB 707 and that was the clause that the judge seized upon in holding that MSI had failed to show the “irreparable injury” necessary for preliminary relief. As he said at the hearing, all you have to do is “apply” to the ATF by October 1 for “authorization to possess” the “device” in order to avoid prosecution for a year.

And to the judge, it simply did not matter that the ATF has refused to receive or process any such request for “authorization” because the statute merely required the owner to “apply,” not for the ATF to actually accept the application.

But, here is the rub: The Maryland SB 707 is so vague that no one knows what it covers.

Every gun owner in the state may possess “Rapid Fire Trigger Activator(s), and not even know it. Such “device[s]” includes binary trigger systems, bump stocks, burst trigger systems, a Hellfire Trigger, a trigger crank, or a burst trigger system and copies thereof. But the banned items ALSO includes any “device, including a removable manual or power-driven activating device, constructed so that, when installed in or attached to a firearm: (I) the rate at which the trigger is activated increases; or (II) the rate of fire increases.” Yet, virtually anything you do to your firearm may “increase” the “rate of fire” by some minute amount, including cleaning it. There is no definition for a “device” and the statute includes ALL firearms, not merely semi-automatics.

At the hearing, Judge Bredar remarked on the extreme vagueness of the State’s law as he demonstrated how GUN OIL being used to lubricate a BOLT-ACTION RIFLE to “increase” the “rate of fire” of the rifle because the action could be worked more efficiently, meaning the trigger could be manually activated faster than it could before using the GUN OIL.

The judge thus warned the State that he had real problems with how vague the statute was. In short, we don't know what is covered by this language covering a “device” that increases the “rate of fire” and neither does the State, the judge or anyone else. The potential for arbitrary enforcement is quite real.

And that is a BIG problem. A conviction for the mere possession of an SB 707 “device” (whatever it means) will result in the loss of your Second Amendment rights for life. It doesn't have to be a bump stock or the other listed devices to be covered. And even you aren't convicted, you could still be arrested and jailed for such possession by an overzealous law enforcement officer. It doesn't matter when or where you bought it or whether it is installed or whether it has ever been used. It doesn't have to be a device for a semi-automatic firearm. Mere possession in Maryland is enough. Under the judge's ruling today, the only way any gun owner in this State can protect themselves from potential arbitrary arrest and/or prosecution under this law (SB 707) is to send in the attached letter to the ATF.

All you have to do is print off the form below, fill in the blanks and send it into the ATF at the address indicated. To be safe, the ideal way to send it is via US Mail, return receipt requested.

Maryland -~ATF – Application for Authorization of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators

But by all means, send it any way you can (and keep a copy). Regardless of how you send it, it must be sent before October 1, 2018. Sending this letter does NOT mean that you are identifying yourself as owning a bump stock or any specific device. It just means that you (like we) don't know what is covered by the SB 707 ban on a “device” that “increases” the “rate of fire.” The letter merely repeats the language set out in grandfather clause of SB 707. And note, even if you apply for “authorization” with the ATF, the prohibition imposed on possession by SB 707 kicks back in on October 1, 2019, if “authorization” is not actually received by that time. We already know that the ATF will not actually entertain such “applications” because it has publicly announced that it would not consider them. But that does not and will not matter until October 1, 2019. In the meantime, all you have to do is “apply” under the judge's ruling.

The case is not over by any means. All the judge did was deny preliminary relief. He did not address the merits in his ruling (other than to warn the State that they had a problem on how vague the statute was). We are encouraged by some the judge's remarks made at the hearing. Maryland Shall Issue will continue the fight but in the meantime, it is absolutely essential that you send this letter to the ATF as soon as possible.

Legally, it is the only way you can protect yourself from this vague statute under the judge's ruling today. Hopefully, the case will be over by October 1, 2019 (at least in district court), so we will know more before then.


Maryland Shall Issue

About Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.

Maryland Shall Issue®, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-partisan organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners' rights in Maryland. It seeks to educate the community about the right of self-protection, the safe handling of firearms, and the responsibility that goes with carrying a firearm in public.

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    AlanA. WhiteGregory RomeuAlJT Recent comment authors
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    Alan
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    Alan

    The fact that this piece of legislation, among others seemingly near and dear to the hearts of Maryland’s elected things was actually enacted might well serve to counter the arguments in favor of universal suffrage. After all, this legislative idiocy is the work product of the elected representatives of Marylanders. It is that, isn’t it, or is such legislation as Maryland’s legislature produces the work product of gremlins?

    A. White
    Guest
    A. White

    Do nothing. Don’t send a letter to the ATF. This is their reply.: https://www.atf.gov/news/pr/maryland-law-restricting-rapid-fire-trigger-activators So again DO NOT waste postal money cert./reg. mail and/or rtn receipt just to have your name put on a list for something that you may or nay not own. I do not know what MSI was thinking and where their mind was with that suggestion. It’s potentially a very, very bad move. https://www.atf.gov/news/pr/maryland-law-restricting-rapid-fire-trigger-activators THE ATF – Maryland Law Restricting “Rapid Fire Trigger Activators” WASHINGTON – Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law Maryland Senate Bill 707. This new statute restricts possession in Maryland of… Read more »

    A. White
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    A. White

    I waited until Oct. 1 to respond. Although it was of no consequence as the date to respond had past. I owe MSI an big apology. I rescind my original belief that Maryland’s 2A shooters not respond because the problem stated above regardless albeit the concern is real. I also read a better broader version of the case itself. This article was written a few months after the BATF Statement to MD’s on SB707 just as the case was not heard until after BATF’s Statement. The presiding judge specifically instructed the plaintiffs including all MD gunowners it would suit them… Read more »

    Young Thomas
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    Young Thomas

    The article is a tad misleading. The Maryland law (https://legiscan.com/MD/text/SB707/2018) defines what a binary trigger, burst trigger, hellfire trigger and bump stock are. It furthermore specifically exempts aftermarket competition triggers: ““RAPID FIRE TRIGGER ACTIVATOR” DOES NOT INCLUDE A SEMIAUTOMATIC REPLACEMENT TRIGGER THAT IMPROVES THE PERFORMANCE AND FUNCTIONALITY OVER THE STOCK TRIGGER.” That said, as the article states, the judge’s ruling is only a 1 year passing of the buck as the FBI has stated they have no mechanism for giving authorization, we will be back here in a year. Gives MSI time for an appeal, I guess. Until then, by… Read more »

    Cary Hansel
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    Cary Hansel

    Other than the specific exclusions listed above, the law bans any device that, when attached to a gun, increases the rate of fire but any amount. This could include anything that makes the gun itself function slightly faster (gun oil, smoothing of the action, trigger work, etc.) as well as anything which makes follow up shots faster (a bipod, improved sights, foregrips, muzzle devices, etc.).

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    It appears that just buy applying with this letter makes it legal in the state of Maryland to own; full auto sears, silencers, and every other “device” under the sun without any further scrutiny from the state and MARYLAND says IT’S OK! Just send this letter to the ATF! It is so ambiguous on the surface you don’t have to list what it is that you intend to have or you do have or you don’t even want? Don’t you people in the state of Maryland ever focus on removing these dumbasses from office NOW for their wanton disregard to… Read more »

    AG
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    AG

    1st. Don’t know where you are from but Maryland is a Socialist state. It is California and New York lite. They have gerrymandered this state so bad it is impossible for Republicans to gain a foot hold in this state. 2nd. All a bill has to do is get out of committee and it will be a law. it is a Nanny state. 3rd. Criminals are treated better as far as Civil right than the law abiding citizens. 4th people with money LEAVE THE STATE. This will be ground zero for the revolution.

    Dennis
    Guest
    Dennis

    If I had a way to print the form off I would fill it out and send it in although I don’t live in the state and I don’t own the part in question. Imagine the kaos if 6 million forms showed up

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    Slide your fingers over the text, (Little blue baloons fire and aft of the text you want) then COPY the letter, then paste it into a word processing/letter writing program, or, open your e-mail and paste it into the body of the letter format and e mail it to yourself.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    @Dennis, BIG OOPS! That letter is an image file. You may want to copy and paste it into your computer and try to print it out. Being that I am in a situation where I have to rely on use of cell phone I centered the image of the letter in the screen of my phone and pushed the buttons on both the left and right side of the phone at the same time and capture the image and weill print it out when I transfer the file to a printer. Not that I need it being I am not… Read more »

    Trevor
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    Trevor

    Just curious,
    Why if a convicted felon can exercise his right to own a firearm after serving his sentence, can the State of Maryland PERMANENTLY take away a persons “rights” for life for owning a bump stock.

    ROB
    Guest
    ROB

    A convicted felon can not possess a firearm (muzzleloader not included) after serving his sentence. They are prohibited for life until that person receives a modification of sentence to a finding other than guilty, an expungement or a pardon.

    Please do not be a felon and possess a firearm, bad news for you.

    Al
    Guest
    Al

    It’s for life because it is a misdemeanor with a sentence up to 3 years. Any misdemeanor that carries a possible sentence over one year is considered a felony by federal gun laws. There is no way to apply to have your rights restored from a misdemeanor.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    @Al, you are dead wrong. The whole reason there is a distinguishment between Felony and Misdameanor is to protect civil rights of American citizens. I was charged with and pled guilty to the misdemeanor of, “Attempted possession of an explosive”.(Pre 9-11) And later joined the United States Marine Corps getting honorably discharged from a specialized weapons unit as a no 351 anti-tank assault Gunner that utilize laws raucous landmine Warfare, fully automatic assault weapons M60 machine guns included, Claymores, m79 grenades and all the other crap that goes BOOM in a Grunts possession, when I got out I got my… Read more »

    Don Holmes
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    Don Holmes

    YOU IDIOTS PUT THESE RUSSIAN PEOPLE INTO OFFICE so quit bitchen.

    2old4this
    Guest
    2old4this

    So a glove to keep your finger from being cold and stiff is manual device to be registered?

    Charles Moore
    Guest
    Charles Moore

    Oh, no!! GUNPOWDER increases the rate of fire! TRIGGERS increase the rate of fire! A barrel that’s BORED ALL THE WAY THROUGH from the chamber to the muzzle increases the rate of fire! Where will all of this evil firing firearms madness end??!!??

    Carl
    Guest
    Carl

    Different recoil springs could increase rate of fire by fractions.
    Polishing the metal parts to reduce friction could increase rate of fire by fractions.

    Matt
    Guest
    Matt

    I guess Jerry Miculek’s finger is illegal in Maryland then.

    m.
    Guest
    m.

    put it where the moon does not shine, a**hole

    Mott
    Guest
    Mott

    How in the hell do these IDIOTS get put in places like this?? This guy has no clue as to what does what. Lets take the oil out of his car because it will put less gasses into the air….what a DA!

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    I see a “void for vagueness” challenge, a “commerce clause” challenge, a “Second Amendment” challenge and a “substantive due process” challenge, on the merits and on the injunctive temp. relief. This could be some young attorney’s entire career.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    @Wild Bill, but what we don’t see is a citizen or group of citizens with backbone to read the State Constitution and apply their duties and Powers to get things up and running not only the back down and fight the problems they’re facing but to remove the idiots in their city, county and state government levels that are causing the problems! “It’s not my job.”, “I don’t get paid for it.”, ” I have a job and a family that keeps me busy.”, “But I’m only one person.”, “My pussy hurts.”, “I can’t read the whole state constitution by… Read more »

    Margaret Miller
    Guest
    Margaret Miller

    Gregory….I totally agree! I represent National Write Your Congressman here in MS and it is my job to get as many citizens as possible to speak up on Federal and State issues. We are non-partisan, and not a lobbyist.
    “We the People” have been called to duty and it’s time to respond! Check us out….

    AJax
    Guest
    AJax

    What does Gregory do? Asking for a friend.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    Why doesn’t, “your friend” do the asking?

    TS Yadon
    Guest
    TS Yadon

    Regarding the governments ability to impose “Reasonable Restraint” which has now become the mantra of our liberal influenced government. Supporters of the bill of rights claim they have a constitutional or Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Opponents counter even if it were the case, the government was granted the general power to place restraints on the right. Both of these assertions are based on a misconception concerning the intent of the document known as the Bill of Rights. When the Bill of Rights was submitted to the individual States for ratification, it was prefaced with a preamble.… Read more »

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    @TS Yadon, @Wild Bill, you two have not only fully earned my respect, you two are free to sit at my table and some with me ANY TIME!

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @What time is lunch?

    HoundDogDave
    Guest
    HoundDogDave

    @TS Yadon Thank you! I have long understood that the 2nd amendment did not give me the right to bear arms but protected the right I was born with to secure and protect myself. What I didn’t have was the language to express that truth. The truth that our rights are absolute and not given by the Constitution but are protected from our own government violating them by it. I now have a copy of your response on my computer desktop and will read and reread it until I can remember every point. More of us need to get past… Read more »

    Core
    Guest
    Core

    This needs to be struck down via the Supreme Court: revised and remanded. This is unconstitutional and does not abide by the fundamental principles of Western Law. The state can ban the sale of such devices via commerce law, but cannot ban them and make felons of law-abiding citizens over night.

    Allan Morrison
    Guest
    Allan Morrison

    You lose your second amendment rights for life because of their communistic legal beagle chicanery? They’re f—–g with your life. They’re enemies within the constitutional walls. When are we going to f–k with their lives? Because, have no doubt, that is what it is going to take to protect ourselves as free people from those who would have their absolute and terminal way with us. That IS where it is creeping.

    RJL
    Guest
    RJL

    INTELLIGENCE DEFEATS IGNORANCE!

    24and7
    Guest
    24and7

    Buy Schaeffer penetro or ballistol great Lube sprays and cleaners not as gun oils..

    Chuckbone56
    Guest
    Chuckbone56

    Im betting said judge owns and carries guns. He is also protected my folks carrying guns all day as well. Hippocritical ass is what he is.

    MarkD
    Guest
    MarkD

    So, my lightning fast finger is prohibited?

    JT
    Guest
    JT

    Yep, you will need to cut them off and turn them over!