Maryland has something called a Handgun Permit Review Board. If you want to carry a concealed handgun in the famously anti-gun crab cake state and are denied by the Maryland State Police, you can appeal their decision to the Review Board.
According to the Baltimore Sun,
In total, 22,177 Marylanders have handgun permits, according to state police. The state police received about 4,400 new applications and 5,400 renewal applications last year — and denied about 500 of those applications. …
Of 269 cases the board reviewed from December 2017 through November 2018, the board reversed state police decisions 77 times and modified them 145 times. Generally, reversals are when the board decides to grant a permit that police denied and modifications remove any restrictions placed on a permit, such as only allowing the applicant to carry a handgun while at work.
Goodness. Law-abiding citizens asking for a review of a bureaucrat’s decision to deny permission to exercise a constitutional right? We can’t have that!
Maryland Democrats think the Review Board is overturning too many MSP denials and letting citizens carry firearms. To “fix” that problem, they’ve drafted a bill to abolish the Review Board and make those who are denied appeal the decision to an administrative law judge.
“We’ve seen this permit review board continually overturning Maryland State Police recommendations,” said Sen. Pamela Beidle, an Anne Arundel County Democrat who is sponsoring the bill to eliminate the handgun board. “I have great respect for the Maryland State Police and I think it is wrong that we are overturning their recommendations so often.”
What kind of sketchy people are the board granting the right to keep and bear arms?
In one case, police had denied an insurance broker a permit, in part on the grounds that he did not provide a letter from his employer saying the company wanted him to have a gun on the job. A letter from the applicant’s employer to police said only that the company didn’t object to him having one.
(Board member John H.) Michel encouraged the insurance broker to tell the board “objectively” about his fears of being robbed while on the job. The man talked about meeting clients in different neighborhoods and taking payments from them. And he described seeing a “roving pack” of kids once while leaving a restaurant in downtown Baltimore.
“Baltimore, where I do quite a lot of business, can’t control the crime,” the broker said.
After a brief discussion, the board decided the broker should have an unrestricted permit.
Charm City, if you haven’t been paying attention, is consistently included in the Mount Rushmore of America’s most dangerous places.
Gun rights supporters say the MSP is putting unreasonable restrictions on the RKBA.
Mark Pennak, president of the advocacy group Maryland Shall Issue, said the restrictions often are “hopelessly vague.” Gun owners are “terrified” they’ll encounter police and be arrested for carrying a gun outside the restrictions on their permit, he said.
Handgun board supporters call this “the Fifth Amendment trap.” They worry that as a gun owner tries to explain to an officer why they’re carrying a gun and how they are complying with their permit, they’ll say something that could lead to them being incorrectly charged with committing a crime.
Anything to discourage Marylanders from legally carrying a firearm. That is, after all, the point here.
The bill is supported by both the Senate President and the House Speaker, in the heavily Democrat-dominated legislature, so the Appeals Board probably isn’t long for this world.
Oh, and when a former Handgun Permit Review Board member testified against the bill to abolish the board, she was forcibly removed from the hearing room after exceeding her allotted 60 seconds of time.