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Thread: Idea for protest in MD...

  1. #1
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Although a loaded magazine appears to be just as illegal to carry or transport in MD as an actual firearm, I've found an interesting option that folks might want to explore...

    Empty-Holster protests are becoming a popular tool for raising awareness for issues like "gun free zones", and particularly for College Campus Carry. This is a legal, non-threatening, and totally passive way to protest the infringement of our 2A rights without having to worry about being shot by some trigger-happy JBT or being raked over the coals by some anti-gun DA.

    So here's my idea...

    Empty holsters are COMPLETELY legal to wear in MD. I cant find any statutes ANYWHERE, in even the most frothing anti-2A enclaves of hippie pacifism. So here's my idea. Folks could wear empty holsters, and keep a rolled up facsimile of the Bill of Rights in the holster, but with a red stamp across the top that has the MD state seal, and the phrase "Void in MD"...

    Gets the point across, is perfectly legal when it comes to "firearms laws" in MD, AND because it's obviously a "protest" in the form of a printed flyer, it's protected by the 1st Amendment, which, theoretically, MD does still recognize. AND if you' get hassled by some "official" for this, it's an OBVIOUS and BLATANT civil rights violation, and is directly infringing on your right to free speech, the right of a free press, AND Federal Civil Rights statutes...

    For the miniature "Bill of Rights", I was thinking Something like the following graphic. This is a low-res version, but I'm working on a high-res version that I can print letterpress, and hand out to people. I could even make a PDF version so that people could print their own on their home computers. But since I have several presses, I thought that printing it letterpress would be REALLY spiffy, and would strongly emphasize the "freedom of the press" First Amendment aspect of such a protest...


    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    That sounds like a good idea, but if I may add a little to it:

    What is we wore holsters, but inside the holsters, inserted life size cardboard 2-d cut outs of firearms.
    I think that would be even more productive.

    OR

    Carried clear plastic cheapo water pistols.
    I would carry a cheapo water pistol in my holster and hold a sigh saying "This is the amount of protection the MD State Police allows you to have to defend your family"

    I think that would be very productive.

    hell, I think 90% of the MD sheeple wouldnt even know what a real holster looks like when empty.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Loaded magazines are not illegal in MD. Statute 4-203 makes NO mention of a prohibition on loaded mags, so like VA, if it's not prohibited, it's legal.

    4-203 is below

    § 4-203. (a) (1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a person may not:
    (i) wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person;

    (ii) wear, carry, or knowingly transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, in a vehicle traveling on a road or parking lot generally used by the public, highway, waterway, or airway of the State;

    (iii) violate item (i) or (ii) of this paragraph while on public school property in the State; or

    (iv) violate item (i) or (ii) of this paragraph with the deliberate purpose of injuring or killing another person.

    (2) There is a rebuttable presumption that a person who transports a handgun under paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection transports the handgun knowingly.

    (b) This section does not prohibit:

    (1) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person who is on active assignment engaged in law enforcement, is authorized at the time and under the circumstances to wear, carry, or transport the handgun as part of the person's official equipment, and is:

    (i) a law enforcement official of the United States, the State, or a county or city of the State;

    (ii) a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the National Guard on duty or traveling to or from duty;

    (iii) a law enforcement official of another state or subdivision of another state temporarily in this State on official business;

    (iv) a correctional officer or warden of a correctional facility in the State;

    (v) a sheriff or full-time assistant or deputy sheriff of the State; or

    (vi) a temporary or part-time sheriff's deputy;

    (2) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person to whom a permit to wear, carry, or transport the handgun has been issued under Title 5, Subtitle 3 of the Public Safety Article;

    (3) the carrying of a handgun on the person or in a vehicle while the person is transporting the handgun to or from the place of legal purchase or sale, or to or from a bona fide repair shop, or between bona fide residences of the person, or between the bona fide residence and place of business of the person, if the business is operated and owned substantially by the person if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster;

    (4) the wearing, carrying, or transporting by a person of a handgun used in connection with an organized military activity, a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, a Department of Natural Resources-sponsored firearms and hunter safety class, trapping, or a dog obedience training class or show, while the person is engaged in, on the way to, or returning from that activity if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster;

    (5) the moving by a bona fide gun collector of part or all of the collector's gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster;

    (6) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person on real estate that the person owns or leases or where the person resides or within the confines of a business establishment that the person owns or leases;

    (7) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a supervisory employee:

    (i) in the course of employment;

    (ii) within the confines of the business establishment in which the supervisory employee is employed; and

    (iii) when so authorized by the owner or manager of the business establishment; or

    (8) the carrying or transporting of a signal pistol or other visual distress signal approved by the United States Coast Guard in a vessel on the waterways of the State or, if the signal pistol or other visual distress signal is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case, in a vehicle.

    (c) (1) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to the penalties provided in this subsection.

    (2) If the person has not previously been convicted under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title:

    (i) except as provided in item (ii) of this paragraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 30 days and not exceeding 3 years or a fine of not less than $250 and not exceeding $2,500 or both; or

    (ii) if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 90 days.

    (3) (i) If the person has previously been convicted once under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title:

    1. except as provided in item 2 of this subparagraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 1 year and not exceeding 10 years; or

    2. if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 3 years and not exceeding 10 years.

    (ii) The court may not impose less than the applicable minimum sentence provided under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.

    (4) (i) If the person has previously been convicted more than once under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title, or of any combination of these crimes:

    1. except as provided in item (2) of this subparagraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 3 years and not exceeding 10 years; or

    2. A. if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 10 years; or

    B. if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iv) of this section, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 10 years.

    (ii) The court may not impose less than the applicable minimum sentence provided under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.


    Additonally I have attached as a PDF the MD AG opinion stating loaded mag transport is legal.


    It is completely legal to transport loaded mags in your vehicle in MD. They just cannot be IN your weapon










  4. #4
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    swinokur,

    Thanks for that PDF from the MD AG. I was working under advisement I got via a telephone call to the MD AG last summer. Either they gave me a false answer, or they've changed their mind since then...

    I'm glad to have that cleared up. I'll be sure to print that letter out, laminate it, and keep it in my "range bag" when I'm traveling through MD.

    My only concern is that little "not the official opinion of the MD AG" phrase. We KNOW what the law is, but I think this phrase clues us in as to how the AG would interpret the law according to his OPINION were such a case to come before the MD courts.

    I get the feeling that Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is more in line with Governor O'Malley than he is with Charlton Heston.

    But having a letter from the AG is always a good thing, even if the MSP have already publicly testified that they believe that the US Constitution doesn't apply in MD, and that they will set policy and enforce the law under that belief...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    No worries. I got into a very heated argument with a moron on Glock Talk forum who insisted his LEO buddies in MD would lock me up for carrying loaded mags, even after I showed him both the MD 4-203 statutes and the FOPA federal transport laws. Even after I showed him that by not being prohibited, they were legal, he kept arguing with me. he finally shut up after I posted the AG opinion. I too put a copy in my locking travel case I keep in my Jeep so when I travel from MD to VA to shoot, if an uninformed LEO stops me, I can enlighten him. I also keep a copy of FOPA, and an AG opinion of when 4-203 and FOPA are applied in MD. Basically if you are traveling THROUGH MD and your origin and destination are not BOTH in MD , the AG said the FOPA law apples.

    If you want that posted, I certainly can do that as well.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Yes, please do. THANKS!!!


    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  7. #7
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Here is the copied text from the MD AG opinion on travel in MD and what criteria are to be used for application of either the MD statute 4-203 or the Federal 18 USC 926A FOPA Federal law on interstate transport. The underlined paragraph is the relevant section. I have attached the .doc file as well

    Dear Mr. _______:

    Maryland law generally prohibits the wearing, carrying or transporting of handgun, loaded or unloaded, concealed or openly: 1) on or about one's person; and, 2) in a vehicle traveling on a road or parking lot generally used by the public, highway, waterway, or airway of the State.
    Individuals who have been issued a permit to carry a handgun by the Maryland Department of State Police (handgun carry permits issued by other states are not effective) are exempted from this law.

    The following activities are also exempted: 1) the carrying of a handgun on the person or in a vehicle while the person is transporting the handgun to or from the place of legal purchase or sale, or to or from a bona fide repair shop, or between bona fide residences of the person, or between the bona fide residence and place of business of the person, if the business is operated and owned substantially by the person if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; 2) the wearing, carrying, or transporting by a person of a handgun used in connection with an organized military activity, a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, a Department of Natural Resources-sponsored firearms and hunter safety class, trapping, or a dog obedience training class or show, while the person is engaged in, on the way to, or returning from that activity if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; 3) the moving by a bona fide gun collector of part or all of the collector's gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; 4) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person on real estate that the person owns or leases or where the person resides or within the confines of a business establishment that the person owns or leases; 5) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a supervisory employee: in the course of employment; within the confines of the business establishment in which the supervisory employee is employed; and (iii) when so authorized by the owner or manager of the business establishment.

    The federal law you cite (18 USC 926A) applies to the interstate transportation of a firearm (handgun or long arm) and supersedes Maryland law. It would have no bearing on the transportation of a firearm where the origin and destination are both within Maryland. It would however allow for the transportation of a firearm through the State of Maryland regardless of the Maryland law cited above.

    For purposes of the exceptions to Maryland law, a handgun may be transported within the passenger compartment of the vehicle provided it is unloaded and in an enclosed case or holster. For purposes of the federal law exception, the firearm must be unloaded and not readily accessible from the passenger compartment.

    Mark H. Bowen Assistant Attorney General


    (end of quotation from Mr. Bowen)



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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Instead of 2d cutouts why not blue/red plastic training pistols?

    They're all plastic, 'everyone' knows they're not real, and they run about 20$....


    I have a feeling you're still going to get taken down at gunpoint REGARDLESS of what you wear... Even if there is NOTHING in the holster....


    Hell, I had an officer try to arrest me for disorderly conduct after I took a picture of his car... Ironically, he was the one being disorderly.. Jumped out of his car yelling 'WHAT THE #%(& DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!'
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I think y'all are missing the point of my idea...

    The point of putting a rolled-up facsimile of the Bill of Rights with a "VOID IN MD" stamp on it in an empty holster is two-fold:

    1) it is an OBVIOUSLY empty holster. It doesn't present any sort of perceived threat to even the most insane anti-gunner or the most paranoid, twitchy LEO, and

    2) I would be printing the BoR using a letterpress with hand-set type on REALLY nice, "historically authentic looking" paper. This puts it SQUARELY and INDISPUTABLY into the arena of being a First Amendment issue--Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and Right to Petion. Because this is an OBVIOUS and IRREFUTABLE First Amendment action (rather than a cardboard cutout of a gun, or some other silly pseudo-gun) it is protected under FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS statutes, and ANY action taken against us by an LEO could be prosecutable in the FEDERAL courts (not in the MD anti-gun kangaroo courts), and could result in HUGE fines for the department, and possible damages being paid out to the protesters. The threat of "hitting them in the pockets" would be a HUGE deterrent against any sort of officials hassling such a protest, not to mention the possibility of being slammed with the HUGELY negative PR of an LEA trampling on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press...

    I'm trying to make a strong statement, AND set up a situation where we are ABSOLUTELY protected by the Law against any sort of hassle by LEOs.

    The MSP has openly stated in General Assembly testimony that "the 2A doesn't apply in MD". But as far as I know, the 1A is still in effect in MD, and I think that even most of the "anti's" would stand against a blatant 1A infringement.

    And if we can do it in a classy, witty, and artistic way, then so much the better...

    I was also thinking that I could print some info about MD crime stats, and provide links to local gun-rights organizations' websites on the back, and we could hand them out to curious passers-by, which would be a REALLY good opportunity for outreach and public education. And printing it letterpress on nice paper would give this handout a LOT more legitimacy than just some crappy xeroxed flyer, too...

    This idea is about using an artistic approach, finely-printed handouts, and using the laws in our favor to accomplish our goal.

    I think that no matter how much the MSP, the MD AG, Governor O'Malley, and local LEA's hate the idea of an armed citizenry in MD, NONE of those people want to get branded as being anti-1A. There may be some unabashed fascists in MD government with regards to 2A rights, but I don't think even the most virulent anti-2A radicals in MD want to come across as suppressing Free Speech or Freedom of the Press...

    As a 2A "activist" AND an MFA candidate in Graphic Design (which gives me a vested interest in 1A rights), I feel that this approach gives us a legally-protected, elegant, and witty method to voice our opinions without ANY risk of getting slammed with something bogus like a "Disorderly Conduct" charge just because they don't like what we are trying to say...

    But then again, I may be wrong. And this might be a REALLY interesting "test case". We might find out that, like the 2A, the 1A doesn't apply in MD either.

    And THAT would be a sad day for Maryland indeed. :shock:

    But it would make for some GREAT press...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    I think a empty holster rally is a great idea especially with the "void in Maryland" spin. Maybe we can involve the http://www.marylandshallissue.org/in...?categoryid=28 people. They have already organized a couple of empty holster rallies.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    No 'gun' cut-outs... fake guns... or any kind'a guns... not in MD. Dreamer's idea is excellent. 'Lotta hysteric oppositionamong myopic Marylanders who seem to think their little socialist fiefdom is the end all of the world. As a culture... they don't get out much.

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    No 'gun' cut-outs... fake guns... or any kind'a guns... not in MD. Dreamer's idea is excellent. 'Lotta hysteric oppositionamong myopic Marylanders who seem to think their little socialist fiefdom is the end all of the world. As a culture... they don't get out much.
    Thing is, I have walked around MANY times with an empty holster in Maryland and never got any looks and I dont think anyone ever noticed.


    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    They usually don't even with a gun in 'em... 'cept the cops would. I think a rolled up Bill of Rights or just the 2A would be more noticable.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    They usually don't even with a gun in 'em... 'cept the cops would. I think a rolled up Bill of Rights or just the 2A would be more noticable.
    Hell, its worth a try I guess.

    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    This, from the AG's office: loaded magazines are legal for transport.



  16. #16
    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    I would be interested in participating in an Open Holster Day, just as you describe.

    Living in The Socialist Republic of Absurdistan, it is almost like wearnig a "Scarlet G" to even mention that you are a shooter--particularly of handguns.

    I'm fortunate to work with a number of similar thinkers, but even so we often have to discuss 2A-related topics in hushed tones.

    For me, moving is not an option... and is just escaping the problem rather than trying to fix it. There are many aspects of life here that need improvement, and this is as good a place as any to start.

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