A three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Maryland’s handgun qualification license scheme which requires anyone wishing to acquire a handgun to submit fingerprints, take a four-hour training class, and wait 30 days for a background check in order to receive license. The U.S. District Court had found the license scheme constitutional.
In Maryland, if you are a law-abiding person who wants a handgun, you must wait up to thirty days for the state to give you its blessing. Until then, there is nothing you can do; the issue is out of your control. Maryland has not shown that this regime is consistent with our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. There might well be a tradition of prohibiting dangerous people from owning firearms. But, under the Second Amendment, mechanism matters. And Maryland has not pointed to any historical laws that operated by preemptively depriving all citizens of firearms to keep them out of dangerous hands. Plaintiffs’ challenge thus must succeed, and the district court’s contrary
decision must be
Two cases were consolidated by the Fourth Circuit. Maryland Shall Issue was a plaintiff/appellant in both. I am a member of Maryland Shall Issue.