Urban folks, feed on constant recitations of fears, out number and out vote us by many millions. We cannot buy a mail order firearm because we were told, and almost everyone believes, that JFK was killed by a $20 mail order war surplus M39 Carano infantry rifle. So sellers ship to licensed dealers who comply with BATF requirements. You can still purchase a long gun in your and an adjacent state over the counter but firearms that look like the military M-14 (like Armalite Rifle model 15s) are further regulated. Mine is a CMP program rifle, H-bar, no flash suppressor or bayonet lug, so it’s OK.
Below is where Maryland is along the path to registration and disarmament. Handguns, that can’t be bought out of state, are seen as an important street crime problem. To promote public safety a state issued Handgun Qualification License (HQL) has been legislated into being. Without an HQL dealers don’t spend much time with you. To get one you need to:
- Log into the Maryland State Police licensing portal (website) and create an account.
- From your driver’s license, tell them everything you know they already know about you.
- Have a document that shows you have received firearms training or shows that you have served in the armed forces and been honorably discharged (DD214) or an ID showing that you are on active duty. Scan and upload these documents to your MSP account.
- Pass the many question (OMB 1140-0020 part 1) test… have you murdered anyone or been indicted for same, are you a drug attic, are you under a court order concerning chasing women at night?
- Get finger printed. Take $60 (paper money) to Maryland State Police; U of M campus police works but call to find a proper time for them. Gun shops have a list of finger printers. This includes the FBI background check.
- Keep checking the MSP web site. When all the wickets have been checked off it will ask for $50.
- Wait a few weeks for them to make the little laminated card the size of your driver’s license.
- You now need a 10 digit number and a 4 digit PIN so log on again and fill in a 77R, the same BATF questions to which the state has added questions about your sanity. The numbers get e-mailed to you and posted to your MSP account that the dealer will access. They allow you to purchase one handgun. In 30 days you can apply for another set. I’ve been told (hearsay) that five’s the limit.
- Go buy your hand gun. In a week they’ll send you an e-mail telling you that you can take it
- And, yes, there’s still a $10 fee for something.
Clearly, this is a model that other states’ gun banners will wish to imitate, but as it discriminates against citizens with limited access to computers, needed skills, or our language, might we get the ACLU to join us in attempting to recover our obstructed right to participate in a militia? Don’t wait up!
The night I took my PT1911 home robbers smashed into a Maryland shop and took 24 handguns and 7 rifles. A much more efficient process. Of course there is a solution to that process: only sell firearms in state police armories (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tue-Sat) manned by cheap (no state benefits) contract clerks. Profits to be used to support public safety programs.
I’m not going to like the future. Have a nice day.
F. J. Wiley, III
(Editors note: The author, F.J. Wiley, III, resides in Catonsville, Maryland and owns a farm in Madison County, Virginia. The original submission has been edited for length and content. The views expressed are those of the author)