Plaintiffs in a court case this week asked a federal court to declare a Maryland law forcing gun license applicants to get training before getting a license unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs, including Maryland Shall Issue, are backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The law only allows citizens to obtain a handgun if they get a handgun qualification license. One of the qualifications for the license is taking a half-day classroom course and going to a shooting range to pass a live-fire exercise.
The requirements were intended to deter, and have deterred, “tens of thousands of law-abiding, responsible Maryland citizens from exercising their core Second Amendment right to possess handguns for self-defense in the home,” a court filing from the plaintiffs in Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. v. Hogan states.
“This law was put in place with no other purpose than to discourage, financially burden, and intimidate law-abiding people from purchasing handguns for self-defense and other lawful purposes,” Amy Hunter, spokeswoman for the NRA, added in a statement.
“This is quite simply a background check, after a background check, after a background check. It is wasteful and burdensome. But, more importantly, it has zero impact on the criminals using illegal firearms to commit crimes. Maryland should stop restricting the rights of law-abiding people and focus on going after criminals.”
Lawyers for the state asserted in a filing last year that plaintiffs “have failed to create a genuine issue of material fact to support their Second Amendment challenge to Maryland’s requirement that most individuals wishing to purchase a handgun in Maryland first be issued a Handgun Qualification License.”
Defendants, including Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, asked the judge to rule in favor of them.