BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (November 13, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), and Maryland Shall Issue (MSI) announced the filing of a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit that seeks to restore the right to bear arms by making it possible for law-abiding individuals to carry a loaded handgun on their person in public for self-defense in the state of Maryland. The case, Call, et al. v. Jones, can be found at FPCLegal.org.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Nicole Moss, David Thompson, and Peter Patterson of Cooper & Kirk, Raymond DiGuiseppe of The DiGuiseppe Law Firm, and FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut.
The State of Maryland’s laws make it a crime for a law-abiding person to carry a loaded handgun outside of the home unless they have been issued a permit to carry a handgun. Further, State law prevents individuals from obtaining a license because of further unconstitutional requirements, such as the “good and substantial reason” requirement, among others. Just like in the Bennett and Greco cases recently filed by FPC, challenging New Jersey’s and New York City’s respective bans, Maryland’s law amounts to a total ban on carry for the average law-abiding person. And consistent with other FPC and SAF cases, the plaintiffs argue here that the Supreme Court’s precedents take that policy choice off the table.
“The Second Amendment protects both the right to keep a firearm in the home and the right to carry a firearm for protection outside the home,” explained Pete Patterson of Cooper & Kirk. “Yet, the State of Maryland prohibits typical, law-abiding citizens from lawfully carrying firearms for self-defense outside of the home. This ban on carrying firearms is flatly unconstitutional, and we are bringing this suit to overturn contrary precedent in the Fourth Circuit and to secure the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding citizens of Maryland.”
“The State of Maryland’s laws act as a complete bar to the average citizen from being able to carry a firearm for self-defense,” stated Ray DiGuiseppe. “Like several other states that have similar subjective provisions which function as an impossible threshold, Maryland’s ‘good and substantial reason’ cannot pass constitutional muster. This suit seeks to place all of Maryland’s citizens on equal footing when it comes to the ability to exercise their natural right to self-defense outside of the home.”
“Maryland’s laws, such as its ‘good and substantial reason’ requirement, destroy the right to bear arms in public, and by so doing, violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments,” explained FPC’s Adam Kraut. “As the Supreme Court has already held, the enumeration of the right in our Constitution takes that policy choice off the table. Maryland, like all states, must respect the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and allow law-abiding people to carry loaded, operable arms in public for all lawful purposes.”
“Anti-gun Maryland officials have been using this dodge for years,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “By setting this arbitrary standard, state bureaucrats have been routinely denying Maryland citizens their right to bear arms. The state cannot be allowed to continue this discriminatory practice because it essentially gives public officials the power to deny someone’s fundamental, constitutionally-protected rights on a whim.”
“On behalf of our members, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. is proud to announce that we’ve partnered with the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in bringing a new legal challenge to Maryland’s unconstitutional ‘wear and carry’ permit requirements,” said Maryland Shall Issue President Mark Pennak. “The ‘good and substantial reason’ requirement for issuance of a permit imposed by Maryland law has long been used to effectively disqualify the vast majority of law-abiding Marylanders of their right to carry a handgun for the lawful purpose of self-defense. The time has come to end Maryland’s subjective and discriminatory law and regulations. The people of Maryland have a fundamental right to protect themselves in public.”
“The right to bear arms is not a second-class right nor a mere privilege that only some lucky people are ‘granted’ by the government on a case-by-case basis,” said FPC President and FPF Chairman Brandon Combs. “It is constitutionally and morally offensive for the Maryland government to criminalize the exercise of this fundamental human right. The Constitution itself provides the only justification necessary for law-abiding adults to exercise their fundamental, individual right to bear arms in public. FPC will proudly fight to restore the full scope of the Second Amendment in the Old Line State and throughout the nation in this and other cases.”
Recently, Firearms Policy Coalition has filed several major federal Second Amendment lawsuits, including challenges to New Jersey’s carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and California’s Handgun Ban and “Roster” laws (Renna v. Becerra). FPC also has an upcoming trial in its lawsuit challenging California’s “assault weapons” ban (Miller v. Becerra).To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.
NOTICE -- POTENTIAL PLAINTIFFS NEEDED!
FPC is urgently seeking individual and FFL plaintiffs for a number of lawsuits that are being prepared to challenge laws and policies that infringe on fundamental rights, including (but not limited to):
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from purchasing and/or possessing so-called “assault weapons” (semi-automatic firearms with standard characteristics) and “high-capacity” magazines (standard magazines that hold more than 10 rounds)
- Laws and policies that prevent 18-20-year-old young adults (under age 21) from obtaining handguns from FFLs and carry loaded, operable arms in public for self-defense
- Laws and policies that prevent individual adults (over the age of 18) from carrying loaded handguns and other arms outside of their home
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring and/or possessing handguns and other arms without first acquiring a “purchase permit”
- Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring or possessing firearms due to a conviction for a non-violent crime, or mental health adjudication that did not involve an involuntary commitment
- Laws that prevent honorably discharged veterans from acquiring or possessing firearms because they have been classified as “a mental defective” due to the agency’s determination that they “lack the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs” because they need assistance managing VA benefits and have a fiduciary
If someone you know meets the criteria above, or if you would be interested in participating in litigation as a supporting FFL, please contact us:
- On the web at www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline
- By email at potentialplaintiffs[at]fpchq.org
- By phone at (855) 252-4510 (FPC Legal Action Hotline available 24/7/365)
If you would like to support FPC’s Call case and many other pro-Second Amendment lawsuits, legal action, and research, please chip in $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/donate or Join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.
Firearms Policy Foundation (firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges, and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms, through research, education, legal action, and other charitable programs.