Gun rights advocates in Maryland sue over gun law

Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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ANNAPOLIS, Md., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Maryland gun rights activists sued Gov. Martin O'Malley and other state officials to block a gun law they said violates their constitutional rights.

The plaintiffs, which include unnamed gun owners, sporting goods stores and gun clubs, filed the federal lawsuit Monday against O'Malley, Attorney General Douglas Gansler, state police Superintendent Col. Marcus Brown and Maryland State Police, Courthouse News Service reported.

The lawsuit says implementation of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, which went into effect Tuesday, "will result in a complete deprivation of plaintiffs' right to acquire a handgun for lawful use in their homes."

The law makes it illegal to sell, rent or transfer a handgun to anyone who doesn't have a handgun qualification license, something the lawsuit said would take too long to acquire due to a backlog of some 50,000 handgun license applications in the state.

The law requires police to issue a license within 30 days of application.

"That backlog of unprocessed applications to purchase regulated firearms, including handguns, stands at nearly 50,000 today, and it is taking almost four months to process an application," the lawsuit said.

"On [Tuesday], no one in the state of Maryland will have a handgun qualification license, and no one can credibly predict when anyone in the state of Maryland will obtain a handgun qualification license," the plaintiffs said. "This Catch 22 creates a complete ban on the acquisition of handguns in Maryland as of [Tuesday]."

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