Maryland Shall Issue, Atlantic Guns, and four Maryland residents have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s 2013 law that requires a permit in order to purchase a firearm.
The groups claims that the state’s onerous licensing process dissuades Marylanders from purchasing firearms. Via Guns.com
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. In short, plaintiffs hold an applicant can pay hundreds of dollars and have to seek out sometimes hard to find approved instructors to take the live-fire course, all before they are allowed to buy a handgun in the state.
“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.
Besides the fees, plaintiffs argue the average current wait time for an HQL is 28 days and, even after it is granted, the state requires a further seven day waiting period before it can be used to buy a handgun. They hold this can put months between a desire to purchase a pistol or revolver for home protection and actually acquiring one.
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