Maryland’s Gun Licensing Law is Unconstitutional, Argues FPC in New Brief By: Firearms Policy Coalition


RICHMOND, VA (August 12, 2022) – Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an important appellate brief, joined by FPC Action Foundation and Independence Institute, in Maryland Shall Issue v. Hogan, a case that challenges Maryland’s gun licensing and training requirements. The brief can be viewed at

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“No law during the colonial, founding, or early republic periods required any American citizen to obtain a license before possessing a firearm,” argues the brief. “Only overtly racist licensing laws existed, which targeted slaves, free African Americans, and Indians–all of whom were denied Second Amendment protections. These discriminatory laws do not justify Maryland’s licensing law, and to the contrary, reveal its unconstitutionality.”

“Under the standard for applying the Second Amendment recently articulated by the Supreme Court, this case is straightforward,” said FPC Law’s Director of Constitutional Studies and brief author, Joseph Greenlee. “Because Maryland’s licensing and training requirements burden Second Amendment rights and are inconsistent with America’s tradition of firearm regulation, they are unconstitutional. We’re hopeful that the Fourth Circuit will reverse the district court’s judgment and strike down these unnecessary and unduly burdensome impediments to the right to keep and bear arms.”

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Firearms Policy Coalition (, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutionally protected rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs.

FPC Law ( is the nation’s first and largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.

FPC Action Foundation (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty through charitable legal action, public policy, education, and research programs.