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Thread: Maryland Shall Issue - Update - AACO Ordinance Ruled Illegal

  1. #1
    Regular Member Maryland Shall Issue's Avatar
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    Maryland Shall Issue - Update - AACO Ordinance Ruled Illegal



    In this issue:

    1. Anne Arundel County Law Ruled Illegal
    2. Contact Information for Anne Arundel County Council

    1. Anne Arundel County Law Ruled Illegal

    As some of you will recall, we brought to your attention on June 16 of this year the fact that the Anne Arundel County Council passed an ordinance that required dealers of second hand merchandise to maintain records and purchase an additional business license in order to continue to maintain their business in the county.

    While the word firearm is nowhere mentioned in the ordinance, the County Executive and the Anne Arundel County Police Department took it upon themselves to determine that they would apply the terms of that law to licensed firearms dealers in the county.

    Maryland Shall Issue took a position in opposition to the bill for two reasons:

    1. That the $250 base license with $50 per employee add on fee was an unacceptable burden to these heavily regulated small businesses which must already purchase federal and state firearms licenses as well as county business licenses.

    2. Most importantly, that the records keeping requirements were a blatant violation of the state preemption laws. The State of Maryland "preempts the right of a county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district to regulate the purchase, sale, taxation, transfer, manufacture, repair, ownership, possession and transportation of" a handgun, rifle or shotgun as well as the ammunition for those firearms. (Criminal Law Article - Section 4-209 (a) )

    The Public Safety Article - Section 5-104 also states that "the Regulated Firearms Subtitle supercedes any restriction that a local jurisdiction imposes on a sale of a regulated firearm". Similar language is repeated in Section 5-134 of the same article.

    This ordinance would have required these licensed firearms dealers to submit a daily record of their transactions to the county police with information including the type of firearm as well as the name and address of the person transferring the firearm.

    You will also recall that Councilman Jerry Walker of the 7th Council District proposed a bill that would have expressly exempted licensed firearms dealers from the language of the ordinance. This bill was subsequently voted down in spite of MSI's attempts to get the members of the county council to see reason.

    With the assistance of Delegate Don Dwyer (R - District 31) and his staff, Maryland Shall Issue drafted a request to the Attorney General's office requesting an opinion on the legality of the ordinance on the basis of not only the Maryland preemption language, but also MSI's assertion that this bill violated the federal Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986.

    After a long wait, we are happy to report to you that Delegate Dwyer's office has forwarded us the official opinion from the Office of the Attorney General confirming that the ordinance as being enforced is in direct contravention of the state preemption laws.

    A copy of that opinion can be found here.

    Anne Arundel County will be forced to change their policy of coercing licensed dealers to comply with the language of this ordinance.




    2. Contact Information for Anne Arundel County Council

    Now that the Office of the Attorney General has ruled the dealers' licensing ordinance illegal as it is being applied to licensed firearms dealers, it is time for the County Council to hear from the MSI membership that we expect compliance with state law.

    As always, be polite and respectful in your communication, but be firm in stating that the council is clearly in violation of state law and that the council must direct the county police to stop this illegal application of this ordinance.

    Anne Arundel Residents can find their council districts by going here and looking at the top link on the right side of the page.

    District 1 - Hon. Daryl Jones
    410-222-1401
    Email: daryl.jones@aacounty.org

    District 2 - Hon. John Grasso
    410-222-1401
    Email: John.grasso@aacounty.org

    District 3 - Hon. Derek Fink
    410-222-1401
    Email: dfink@aacounty.org

    District 4 - Hon. Jamie Benoit
    410-222-1401
    Email: james.benoit@aacounty.org

    District 5 - Hon. Dick Ladd
    410-222-1401
    Email: dladd@aacounty.org

    District 6 - Hon. Chris Trumbauer
    410-222-1401
    Email: ctrumbauer@aacounty.org

    District 7 - Hon. Jerry Walker
    410-222-1401
    Email: jerry.walker@aacounty.org






    Maryland Shall Issue, Inc.
    1332 Cape Saint Claire Road #342
    Annapolis, Maryland 21409
    240-446-6782

    Mission Statement: 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.

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  2. #2
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Tremendous thanks and Kudos to MSI and Del. Dwyer for this victory.

    It's hard to believe that the MD AG actually agreed with Del. Dwyer's assessment that AACo's ordinance was illegal, and is officially enforcing it. They often give a pass to local ordinances that are in direct violation of State Statute--ESPECIALLY if those ordinances provide an income stream.

    However, I think the real reason why the MD AG ruled against this ordinance wasn't because he is genuinely concerned with the legality and Constitutionality of local ordinances, but rather because this AACo ordinance didn't have a provision where some of the collected baksheesh would be funneled to the State's General Fund--like the Montgomery County traffic camera program (which is ALSO in direct violation of State Statute on at least two counts, but the AG gave them a pass, because they wrote the program rules to provide for funneling a percentage of collected fines to the State's General Treasury...)

    Anyway, "good on ya", MSI, and special thanks to Del. Dwyer. It's good to see some progress in MD toward 2A rights in the face of growing oppression and bald-faced unconstitutionality on the part of local "governments"...
    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

  3. #3
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    As a former AACO resident, Id like to say thanks!
    Its people like you and your organization that keeps the local and state officials in Maryland from completely gutting people rights.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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