Maryland, U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On June 11, 2018, MSI and four individuals filed a class action suit challenging SB 707, the Bump Stock Bill that was signed into law by Governor Hogan on April 24. Senate Bill 707 provides that a person may not “transport” into Maryland or “manufacture, possess, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, or receive a rapid-fire trigger activator.” Senate Bill 707 defines “a rapid-fire trigger activator” extremely broadly to include “any device, including a removable manual or power-driven activating device, constructed so that, when installed in or attached to a firearm the rate at which the trigger is activated increases; or the rate of fire increases.” A rapid-fire trigger activator is further defined to include a “bump stock, trigger crank, hellfire trigger, binary trigger, burst trigger system, or a copy or a similar device, regardless of the producer or manufacturer.” A violation of the new law is punishable with up to 3 years in prison or a fine of $5,000 or both.
The lawsuit challenges the newly enacted SB 707 on multiple grounds, including as unconstitutional taking of private property under the Takings Clause of the federal Constitution and the Maryland Constitution and as unlawful seizure of private property under Article 24 of the State Constitution. The Complaint also alleges that SB 707 is unconstitutionally vague and violates the Due Process Clause in making continued possession of these so-called “rapid-fire trigger activators” contingent on obtaining BATF “authorization” where the BATF has publicly stated that lacks the legal authority to accord any such “authorization.” The Complaint can be found HERE.
Update on the First Amendment Case:
As previously reported (HERE), the State Attorney General’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the suit against the Capital Police Department officers who arrested the Hulbert brothers in February 2018 for protesting on the public sidewalk in Annapolis. MSI, on behalf of its members, and both brothers, then sued the officers in federal district court alleging violations of the First Amendment (freedom of speech), the Fourth Amendment (false arrest) and a number of state laws (false arrest, false imprisonment, use of excessive force). On May 8, we filed an opposition to the State’s motion to dismiss. The State then filed a reply brief in support of their motion. The motion is now ripe for submission to the court for decision. The court may, or may not, hold oral argument on the motion. That’s up to the judge.
You Can Help Us Too!
This is an election year and the primary election is June 26 and the general election is the first Tuesday in November. Every seat in the General Assembly is up as is every state-wide office, including the Governor and the Attorney General. We encourage everyone to exercise their First Amendment rights to vote and involve themselves in these elections by giving their time, money and efforts in support of candidates that they favor. Both the primary and general elections are very important. An unusually large number of legislators are not seeking reelection this year and those open seats are thus unencumbered by existing office holders.
MSI has a lot of great volunteers that come and help us educate the public at gun shows held around the region. We need more volunteers to help out the gun-show veterans. If you are an MSI member and can volunteer a few hours at one of our upcoming events, send us an email. We would deeply appreciate your help. Come on down and spend some time observing the other volunteers. When you feel ready, step in and let other gun owners know what MSI can do for them. We also need volunteers to help manage the table, hand out literature and help people fill out membership applications. There are many ways that you can help! Did we mention you get FREE admission to the gun show?
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About Maryland Shall Issue:
Maryland Shall Issue is an all volunteer, non-partisan effort dedicated to the preservation and advancement of all gunowners’ rights in Maryland, with a primary goal of CCW reform to allow all law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed weapon; and to the education of the community to the awareness that ‘shall issue’ laws have, in all cases, resulted in decreased rates of violent crime.
For more information, visit their http://www.vcdl.org/webapps/vcdl/2017leg.html.