Tag Archives: firearms

In miniature, May 29

  • My law blog Overlawyered ceases publication this weekend after nearly 21 years, you can read its Maryland archives here;
  • How about “no.” Does “no” work for you? “Baltimore Wants To Sue Gun Makers Over Gang Violence” [Cam Edwards, Bearing Arms]
  • The environmental group fretted that suspending the bag tax will leave “the public with a false sense of security in encouraging single-use plastic shopping bags” which “are difficult to clean.” Yo, Sierra Club! That’s why they’re called “single-use” bags [Jim Bovard, American Conservative; Josh Kurtz, Maryland Matters]
  • Precinct-level reporting, confidentiality, ballots returned without signatures: the details of vote-by-mail (VBM) Maryland still needs to work out [Cheryl Kagan, Howard Lee Gorrell]
  • Some good ideas in here for your county or municipality, too: “D.C., Maryland Jurisdictions Start Deferring Taxes, Fees and Regulations” [Adam Pagnucco, The Seventh State]
  • Montgomery County development politics analyzed along the lines of the classic Bootleggers and Baptists model [Arnold Kling]

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In miniature, November 17

  • State of Maryland is appealing, to Fourth Circuit, federal judge’s ruling that its law regulating political advertising on social media is unconstitutionally broad [Denise Lavoie, AP/WHSV] As I wrote at the time, “Social media trickery is bad. Chipping away at First Amendment liberties to stop it is worse.”
  • Some overdue national attention for the role of Maryland’s “red flag” gun law in the shooting death of Gary Willis at the hands of Anne Arundel police [Jacob Sullum, earlier]
  • This, from Baltimore musician Jonathan Jensen, had me laughing [Classic FM]
  • Maryland’s Brian Frosh was a key player in national campaign to embed privately paid environmentalist lawyers in state AG offices [Todd Shepherd, Free Beacon; Chris Horner (“Turns out Maryland actually has *two* Bloomberg-funded ‘Special Assistant Attorneys General’ to pursue Bloomberg priorities”); earlier and more here, here, here, and here]
  • “Coincidentally or not, current and former members of the Baltimore Orioles, which the Angelos family owns, were dispatched to the State House for a good will visit while the [Angelos asbestos] bill was under consideration.” [Josh Kurtz, Maryland Matters]
  • Hospital price regulation in Maryland is often depicted as an unqualified policy success. Is it? [Chris Pope, The Hill]

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My Washington Post letter on Maryland’s red flag law

My letter to the editor at the Washington Post last month on red flag gun laws:

August 13, 2019

Red flag’ laws can have deadly consequences

The Aug. 9 front-page article “Results of ‘red flag’ gun laws uneven across 17 states, D.C.” quoted critics of Maryland’s “red flag” gun-confiscation law who find the law lacking on due process grounds. It might also have mentioned another kind of collateral damage done by the law this past November in its second month of operation, namely the death of 61-year-old Gary J. Willis of Glen Burnie, shot dead by Anne Arundel County police who had come to his door at 5 a.m. to present an order to confiscate his guns. Willis answered the door with a gun in his hand. He set it down but then became angry, picked up the gun, and, in an ensuing scuffle with an officer over the weapon, it went off without striking anyone. A second officer then shot Willis dead.

In the aftermath, because of confidentiality rules, neither press nor public could view the red-flag order that had set police on the fatal encounter. Defending the shooting afterward, the county’s police chief described any possible threat from Willis to others in the vaguest of terms, telling the Capital Gazette, “We don’t know what we prevented or could’ve prevented.” Family member Michele Willis, speaking to the Baltimore Sun, took a different view: “I’m just dumbfounded right now,” she said. “My uncle wouldn’t hurt anybody. … They didn’t need to do what they did.”

Walter Olson, New Market

It is true that in principle “red flag” laws can draw on the same respectable historic taproots of judicial power as, e.g., domestic violence restraining orders. [David French, National Review] One problem with that is that it’s not clear the current use of domestic restraining orders inspires confidence, due-process-wise. In two posts last month (firstsecond) Jacob Sullum, who also cites the work of Dave Kopel, critically examines the shortcomings of the red flag gun laws enacted so far, while California lawyer Donald Kilmer looks at his state’s existing law. [cross-posted from Overlawyered]

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Maryland’s gun permit system is challenged — and it’s probably unconstitutional

Maryland law still does not acknowledge any individual right of gun ownership, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decisions in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, which recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns and determined that it applies to states and not solely the federal government. It’s time for that to change — and if the legislature won’t act, the courts will have to.

Allen Etzler reports at the FNP:

Maryland is one of 10 states considered a “may issue” state, which means it requires a permit to carry a concealed gun, and granting that permit is at the discretion of local authorities. It’s a restrictive law that prevents most average citizens from being able to obtain a permit, said Sen. Michael Hough (R-Frederick and Carroll).

“It’s an undue burden on people,” Hough said. “The vast majority of people that get this permit are armed security or private [investigators]. It’s very difficult for the average citizen to get one.”

Now Maryland Shall Issue, a gun rights organization, is challenging the state’s permit regime as inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald. My colleagues at the Cato Institute filed briefs in support of Second Amendment rights in both of those earlier cases.

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In miniature, May 27

  • “Poll: 61 percent of D.C.-area residents favor plan to add toll lanes to Beltway, I-270” and the same number prevails in Montgomery County although you’d never know it from the county’s political leadership [Katherine Shaver and Emily Guskin, Washington Post] “Maryland has pledged – and federal law requires – that the number of toll-free lanes will not be reduced.” [Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters]
  • Sen. Bob Cassilly (R-Harford): “Kirwan will bankrupt the State of Maryland” [Erika Butler, Harford Aegis]
  • “Property Rights Matter: Lessons from a Failing City” [Stephen J.K. Walters, Law and Liberty; my two cents on eminent domain, Pimlico, and the Preakness Stakes]
  • Thanks WBAL host Yuripzy Morgan for mentioning me in discussing the (bad) idea of a law capping credit card interest rates [audio]
  • Thread on Baltimore’s crisis of development and corruption [Brian Gaither on Twitter]
  • In its first three months after implementation Maryland’s “red flag” law “prompted more than 300 protective orders across the state,” and an Anne Arundel man was shot dead by county officers while being served a gun confiscation order [Natalie Jones, Capital News Service/Maryland Matters]

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In miniature, January 12

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Baltimore City will pay to send 60 busloads of kids to anti-gun demo

Taxpayers will shell out $100,000 so the city of Baltimore can bus public school students to an anti-gun rally. And that’s only the start of what’s wrong here, I write in a new Cato post. “A protest outing that is ardently enabled or even meticulously organized by the authority figures in your life can be like the ninth-grade English course that ruins Macbeth or Moby Dick for you.” I quote Lynda C. Lambert in the Baltimore Sun: “Part of protesting is finding your own way, for your own reasons….. Government sponsorship is destructive to these ends.”

My parting shot: “As for the separate question of whether compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be enforced against students for skipping school in a favored cause, I’ll see and raise: don’t enforce those laws against anyone period.”  [cross-posted from Overlawyered]

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In miniature, December 9

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Hamilton v. Paolozzi: gun rights of rehabilitated felons

Restore rights to a rehabilitated felon? Sure, says Maryland, but not gun rights. Constitutional check [Ilya Shapiro, Cato, on this certiorari amicus brief]

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In miniature, February 27

  • Hogan derangement syndrome afflicts some Democrats [Washington Post] “If your friend jumped off the Empire State Building, would you jump too?” No. And neither would our governor [Baltimore Sun on Chris Christie endorsement of Trump]
  • New paper: “Achieving Efficient Government and Regulatory Reform in Maryland” [Randolph May and Michael Horney, Free State Foundation]
  • Some numbers on the conference center proposed with public dollars for downtown Frederick [Ken Kellar, The Tentacle, earlier]
  • Yet more gun laws from Annapolis? Rick Blatchford sniffs the politics behind them [Carroll County Times; related on constitutional problems with last round of new gun laws]
  • Fail to stop daughter’s 20 year old boyfriend from bringing over beer, go to jail [Washington Post on “Alex and Calvin’s Law” bill sailing through Annapolis]
  • Paid leave from our job? Free stuff, sounds great? Unless of course we wind up paying [WaPo, more, NFIB, Maryland Reporter]

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