(Washington Free Beacon) A federal judge ruled on Monday that a lawsuit against Maryland’s law requiring a license to purchase a handgun could move forward after denying the bulk of the state’s dismissal request.

handgun photo

Photo by robertnelson (CC)

In his ruling, Federal District Judge Marvin Garbis said the plaintiffs have standing to bring their case against the state’s Handgun Qualification License (HQL) and ordered discovery in the case to move forward.

“Accepting the pleadings as true, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs allege adequate facts to present a plausible claim that the HQL Provision and regulations have deprived them (or their members or customers) of the Second Amendment right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense,” Garbis wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly, Count 1 shall not be dismissed.”

The case stems from Maryland’s law requiring those who want to purchase a handgun to obtain a license before doing so. In order to obtain the license, a Maryland resident is required to obtain training, submit an application to the state police, submit electronic fingerprint records to the state police, pay associated fees, and pass a background check. The same background check is also required when purchasing any firearm in the state, whether from a licensed dealer or in a sale between private individuals.

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Maryland Shall Issue, a gun-rights group and one of the plaintiffs in the case, has criticized the law as unnecessary and discriminatory.

“It’s redundant as to the current law which already commands that background check to be done,” Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, told the Washington Free Beacon. “The whole idea, and I think this was the underlying intention, was to discourage, as much as possible, the exercise of your constitutional right to buy a handgun…”

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