Maryland Handgun Permit Board review
Courtesy Patriot Picket
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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.

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  1. I won’t be permitted to put into print the things I’d like to call such SOBs. A Maryland board overturning gun stuff in favor of the Second? Who would have thunk it!!! The appeals must be very legit for that to happen.

    • And/or the denials were so ridiculous that even a kangaroo court would throw them out.

  2. 222 out of 269 cases reviewed were resolved in favor of the citizens? Now we can’t have that, now can we!

  3. Why & how does an employer’s word count for more than the employee’s for this purpose? They’re both tax paying individuals. That doesn’t make any kind of sense whatsoever. I assume there’s provisions for property owners to ban legally-concealed guns from their premises anyway, right?

    • I fail to see why the Government, any branch of the Government, should have a say in the exercise of a Constitutional Amendment, that was and is intended to control government overreach, should have any say in the exercise of that Amendment.

  4. You have got to be kidding me! Or, maybe I wish you were. I drove through Maryland twice. Once northbound. Again, on the return. I had two scoped bolt guns. Two handguns. A shotgun and a Galil ARM. Around a thousand rounds of ammo. MSP would have had a heart attack if they had stopped me. Of course, that was around ’95. Maybe things were different then.

    • Had some family that lived around the Cecil County region near Delaware and the state police for both are about the same now as the 90’s. What changed is a lot more anti agitation at the local levels is being pushed with a whole lot more noncompliance than ever. It’s going to be bad when some of the pearl clutchers realize how many 80%s are floating around and not in hoodrat hands

      • “It’s going to be bad when some of the pearl clutchers realize how many 80%s are floating around”

        Bad for who? Because I don’t think that people using 80% go get past local gun laws is going to be good for the pro-gun side.

        • Worst for hobbyists trying to take advantage of tax free shopping, bad for some optics with making gun owners look like wannabe subversives and a bit worse for those seeking control when more people figure out how easy it is and panic buy before the ban (and no an actual ban is not needed)

  5. CT had the same problem. They solved it by reducing the funding and cutting staff so the typical wait time for a hearing is something like 7 years.

  6. Oh yes of course they’re all kissing the “racisis” police now. When it comes to gun control. “Only the police should have guns.” In two weeks they’ll be back “F*K tha pOlecee!” And wonder why we think they’re brain dead.

  7. I’m in Maryland and only the courts or federal troops can save this state. The Democrat party is morally depraved and irredeemable. If we get one more supreme court justice flipped it might start making some change for the better. The creosote crone likely won’t last 6 more years. We also need more conservative federal court justices appointed. Trump 2020!

    • Funny how the Chesapeake watershed covers so much of the area of noncompliance for both of our states

  8. The board should be abolished in favor of shall-issue licensing. End the state police discretion over who can get a permit, case closed. All I needed for a {Virginia, Utah, Florida, Texas…} permit was prints, 4hrs training, and a check.

    • A few years ago, when I was still living in Seattle (!), a friend theorized that it was proximity to saltwater that induces the leftist, psychotic, hoplophobia that seems to be creeping inland. I live in Arizona now, and I’m seeing it here…

  9. From the source article:

    … 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.

    So, not only does a Maryland resident need permission from government bureaucrats, they also need permission from their employer before they can “legally” exercise their right to self-defense. Got it.

    Oh, and what happens if you are self-employed or retired and do not have an employer? How do you get your “employer’s” permission in that case?

    • If you are an employee carrying a gun while on the clock, and you happen to negligently shoot someone, the employer may be liable under principles of respondeat superior. Consequently, an employer’s concerns of a potentially large liability exposure are legitimate.

  10. Also from the source article:

    (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.

    So, fears of being robbed on the job may be “sufficient reason” to exercise our right to self-defense. But women’s fears of being raped is somehow NOT “sufficient reason” to exercise our right to self-defense.

    We need to change the language in this debate and stop referring to our right to keep and bear arms. Rather, we need to call it our right to self-defense, which really is the source or “parent” right that spawns our right to keep and bear arms since we cannot exercise our right to self-defense with ineffective methods.

    Think about that. If we refer to our right to self-defense, Leftists will have a much more difficult time arguing that we do not have a right to self-defense after all. That shows THEM for the monsters that they really are. As the college rape victim asked the politicians at the hearing, “How does rendering me defenseless protect you against violent crime?” Make gun-grabbers choke on that. And then ask those same gun-grabbers why they are pro-rape and make them choke on that.

  11. I would be surprised if MD’s GOP governor Hogan doesn’t veto it. His nominees to the Review Board are pro-2A. This was his way around the Dem’s anti-gun laws so I expect him to fight for it.

    • Yeah, like he veteod the Red Flag law and Bump Stock ban. FYI – he signed both into law while surrounded by a room full of “Moms Demand Action types.

      Not that it matters the Dems have super majorities in both houses, do vetoes are meaningless.

      Look up RINO in the dictionary……his picture is the first thing you will see.

    • MD is run by four counties full of democrats. What do you expect Hogan to do exactly when they have veto proof majorities and can stymie as much as they want?
      If Ben Jealous had won the criminals would be celebrating with gun fire.

  12. Unfortunately Maryland is effectively a 1 party state (Demonrat) and the Superintendent was an appointed position by the Gov. who really if Republican by chance is a puppet to the legislature. When I retired in 1996 the Gun Permit division was under the command of a female officer who following the wishes of the Gov. put the approvals on the slow train resulting in massive backups in approvals. Some people waited months for their approvals. Even though the law required they be approved in 7 days or the people could pickup their pistols/revolvers many dealers fearing a crack down by the State Policed. Maryland in not a gun friendly state.

  13. This is the mess that is created when the second amendment is infringed upon. Making exceptions creates a mess like this. Permitting changes a right to a privilege that can be modified or eliminated at will. Shall not be infringed was meant to keep our right non-negotiable. You shouldn’t have to demonstrate a need to use a constitutionally provided right. Guilty until proven innocent.

  14. Mary-land even has what looks like caution tape on their license plates to warn people about crime in the state. 😉

  15. You might want to make mention of the fact that Maryland has a population of just over 6 million people. CBS said the gun ownership in MD is 20%, which would mean 1.2 million people have firearms.

    And the state only permits 22,177 handgun carry permits. So that’s 1.7% of the firearm owners who can actually defend themselves anywhere outside their homes.

    As of 2009 Maryland State Police had around 1500 troopers plus another 700 or so civilian support personnel to cover 12,400 square miles and the entire state’s population.

    The Baltimore Police Department is the eighth-largest police force in the entire United States with about 2500 officers to cover 80.9 square miles and 600,000 people. They cannot seem to actually stop the criminals.

    In 2016 Maryland gave 40,000 convicted felons the right to vote.

    And they wonder why criminals run amok in Maryland.

  16. It’s OK, I don’t worry about it too much. Just keep my powder dry. The democrats are doing the same thing King George did over 200 years ago, that did not end well for him either. Democrats who think “I will not comply” are just a small group flexing are sadly mistaken. It’s not here yet but it is coming. Be ready.

  17. Unfortunately my daughter who I love lives in western Maryland and I hate when when I have to surrender my rights when I’m in that 25 mile wide piece of slave state that represses individual rights. Totally disgraceful when any government subdivision allows less than .367% of its 6,042,000 ‘citizens’ to exercise a CONSTITUTIONAL right.

  18. Well, they do love their “independent” commissions to do with “administrative discretion” policies they can’t get in law. That is until the discretion goes the other way.

    It was delicious watching Fauxcohantas fuming while the CFPB stonewalled her. “Hey, I don’t have to answer that: we’re independent. You insisted on setting it up that way.”

    Poor Lizzy. She was so sure she was gonna be the one; springboard to her Prezzy run. Even President Obama saw her too encumbered n inept, and appointed someone else.

    They’re better at this in NY state, but really, do you wanna be good at that?

  19. When I retired I left Maryland and moved home to Texas, about the first thing I did was get my handgun license, I was so glad to leave the Democratic Peoples Republic of Maryland.

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