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.

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

    1. 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?

    2. Do nothing. Don’t send a letter to the ATF. This is their reply.:

      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.

      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 “rapid fire trigger activators,” defined as any device, including a bump stock, that increases a firearm’s rate of fire, or the rate at which the trigger is activated. The statute specifically prohibits any person from transporting a rapid-fire trigger activator into Maryland, or manufacturing, possessing, selling, offering to sell, transferring, purchasing, or receiving a rapid-fire trigger activator in the State. The statute also contains a provision that purports to allow Maryland residents already in possession of a device covered by the law to continue to possess that device in Maryland if they file an application for “authorization” to possess the device with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) before October 1, 2018.

      Maryland residents who intend to file applications with ATF for “authorization” to possess devices covered by the statute should be aware that ATF is without legal authority to accept and process such an application. Consequently, ATF respectfully requests that Maryland residents not file applications or other requests for “authorization” from ATF to possess rapid fire trigger activators as defined in the State statute. Any such applications or requests will be returned to the applicant without action. ATF regrets any confusion and inconvenience caused by the provisions of the Maryland statute that mistakenly indicate ATF has the authority to approve possession of devices covered by the statute.

      1. 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 well to send letters to the BATF prior to Oct. 1, 2018 for protecting against inherent flaws within SB707. MSI’s letter was a well written response to the BATF for device(s) owners or non-owners for protection against incongruous future legal applications of MD SB707.

    3. 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:

      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 all means send those letters in.

      1. 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.).

    4. 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 ollow the laws of the MARYLAND Constitution and their paths of office? I mean instead of the pansy-assed excuse of, “waiting to vote them out of office” in the next upcoming election?

      Seriously, SOMEBODY in the state of Maryland has to have at least two brain cells to rub together to know how it works to remove a corrupt official from office that is violating their oath of office and violating your own civil rights and constitutionally protected rights? Aside from the obvious abuses of office, abuse of power, abuse of fiduciary responsibility? SOMEBODY? Anybody? No? Ya’I’m are just THAT,damn complacent? Or just stupid to let matters her THIS FAR OUT OF HAND?

      1. 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.

    5. 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

      1. 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.

        1. @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 a Maryland resident, just wanted a larger image for easier reading.

    6. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. @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 class 1 FFL and also my class A explosive purchasing permit and my class A explosive users permit. Stop misleading people.

          When it comes to civil rights you don’t consider anything except for the fact that those rights cannot be taken away unless the individual gives them away either by act or deed of their own choosing!

    7. 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??!!??

    8. 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!

    9. 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.

      1. @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 myself, it’s too big.”, “What if THEY come after me?”, “The big game is on.”, “Why don’t you do it?”, “I’m not a lawyer.”, I can go on and on about the tens of thousands of excuses as to WHY people don’t step up take charge of and maintain or remove their wayward government officials… As long as they remain a bunch of last, scared little notches, their problems will grow and they will be forced to succumb to the ways of their masters… The left wing, the Antifa, the Democrats, the Nation of Islam that is encroaching into political office and more.

        1. 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….

    10. 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. As stated in the preamble, the purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being recommended. The Amendments, when adopted, did not create any so-called constitutional rights or grant the government any power over individual rights; they placed additional restraints and qualifications on the powers of the government concerning the rights enumerated in the Amendments.

      By advancing the myth Amendments grant the American people their individual rights, the government has illegally converted enumerated restraints and qualifications on its power into legislative, executive, judicial and administrative power over individual rights. The government claims it was granted the constitutional authority to determine the extent of the individual rights enumerated in the Amendments and/or impose “reasonable restraints” on those rights. This assertion is absurd. The government does not have the constitutional authority to ignore, circumvent, modify, negate or remove constitutional restraints placed on its power by the Amendments or convert them into a power over the individual right enumerated in the particular restraint.

      A denial of power or an enumerated restraint on the exercise of power is not subject to interpretation or modification by the entity the restraint is being imposed upon. The restraints imposed by the Amendments, which were adopted 4 years after the Constitution was ratified, override the legislative, executive, judicial or administrative powers of the government. If this were not the case, then the restraints would be meaningless because the government could simply circumvent, modify or remove them. Why would the States have requested and adopted enumerated restraints on government power, subsequent to their ratification of the Constitution, if the government possessed the authority to nullify them?

      When the government infringes on one of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights it is not violating anyone’s constitutional rights; it is violating the additional restraint or qualification placed on its power by the particular Amendment where the right is enumerated. The distinction between rights and restraints is critical. [The right is not given by the Government. Our rights are given by God and are inalienable. Therefore, they can’t be limited or taken away.]

      As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the American people have unalienable rights that come from a higher source than government or a written document. By acknowledging people have natural rights, which are bestowed by a creator, the Founders laid the foundation for the principle the government does not have the lawful authority to take away or infringe on those rights. This principle was incorporated into the preamble and structure of the Amendments to secure individual rights from government encroachment; that is why they were designed and imposed as restraints on the exercise of power.

      If the individual rights of the people had been created by the Constitution or an amendment to the document, then they would cease to be unalienable because the right would depend on the existence of a document. If the document or a provision of the document disappeared, so would the right. The belief individual rights were created by a written document has opened the door for the government to claim the power to define the extent of any right enumerated in an Amendment. This has transformed constitutional restraints placed on governmental power into subjective determinations of individual rights by the institutions of government. By failing to understand the difference between amendments that create rights and amendments that impose restraints on government, the American people are watching their individual rights vanish as they are reduced to the status of privileges bestowed by government because the constitutional restraints placed on governmental power are being replaced by government decree.

      Opponents of the Amendments always try to diminish the right enumerated in the Amendments by asserting rights are not absolute. This is just another straw man argument because the Amendment is about imposing a restraint of the powers of the government concerning a right: not granting a right or defining the extent of a right. In addition, a review of the Second Amendment shows the restraint imposed by the Amendment does not contain any exceptions.

      Legal precedence supporting constitution and bill of rights.

      Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137: “The Constitution of these United States is the supreme law of the land. Any law that is repugnant to the Constitution is null and void of law.”

      Murdock v. Penn., 319 US 105: “No state shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and attach a fee to it.”

      Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, 373 US 262: “If the state converts a liberty into a privilege, the citizen can engage in the right with impunity.”

      Owen v. Independence, 100 S.C.T. 1398, 445 US 622: “Officers of the court have no immunity, when violating a Constitutional right, from liability. For they are deemed to know the law.”

      Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 1974: Expounds upon Owen Byers v. U.S., 273 U.S. 28 Unlawful search and seizure. Your rights must be interpreted in favor of the citizen.

      Boyd v. U.S., 116 U.S. 616: “The court is to protect against any encroachment of Constitutionally secured liberties.”

      Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436: “Where rights secured (Affirmed) by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation, which would abrogate them.”

      Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425: “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”

      Miller v. U.S., 230 F.2d. 486, 489: “The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”

      Brady v. U.S., 397 U.S. 742, 748: “Waivers of Constitutional Rights, not only must they be voluntary, they must be knowingly intelligent acts done with sufficient awareness.” “If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being a gift of ALMIGHTY GOD, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.” —Samuel Adams, 1772

      Cohens v. Virginia, 19 US (6 Wheat) 264, 404, 5 L.Ed 257 (1821): “When a judge acts where he or she does not have jurisdiction to act, the judge is engaged in an act or acts of treason.”

      Mattox v. U.S., 156 US 237, 243: “We are bound to interpret the Constitution in the light of the law as it existed at the time it was adopted.”

      S. Carolina v. U.S., 199 U.S. 437, 448 (1905): “The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now.”

      #NoMoreGunControl #NoMoreGovernmentOverReach

      1. @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 the “yeah, so what, 2nd amendment says so, so there. pththth” without really knowing what it truly means. Thank you so very much for arming me with better, more accurate ammo to shoot down the anti’s arguments.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

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