marc Schifanelli, Esq. 

Integrity, Dedication

& Competence

Contact US  (240) 882-2402

Contact Schifanelli Law, LLP  at 240-882-2402 for an initial consultation with an experienced Annapolis Lawyer.
2450 Riva Road, Suite 201, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.

Since October, 2013, Maryland residents Need a Handgun Qualification License ("HQL") before purchasing, renting, or receiving a handgun.  Whereas Handgun purchases seem to have increased lately, many Residents have been rudely awakened when their HQL Was not approved by the state police. prior "disqualifying" criminal convictions have come back to haunt them.  

Denial of Your Maryland Handgun qualification license "HQL" 

Integrity, Dedication & Competence

How We can help

     Gun ownership and possession under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is a critical and vested Right of every American Citizen - even if some people may consider it less "popular" than other Rights like Freedom of Speech or Due Process. That's not to say that persons with certain felony or violent criminal convictions should be able to legally acquire and purchase firearms: disarmament of dangerous persons by the community has always been recognized since the beginning of the Nation, the Second Amendment notwithstanding. See Heller v. District of Columbia.  Consequently, Maryland's law disarming felons and certain misdemeanants has been upheld by the Federal Courts as "prima facie" Constitutional under present legal precedent.  

     However, and since Justice Scalia's Supreme Court opinion in Heller, some Federal Courts of Appeals have recognized that in certain circumstances, a person denied by a state the right to possess a firearm may be able to challenge that denial on an "as applied" basis.  That is, although the State's law preventing certain  classes of persons from having a firearm may be generally Constitutional, as applied to a particular person's specific circumstances the same law may actually be unconstitutional.  Along with several other states, Maryland falls under the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. That Appeals Court is presently considering at least one case that will clarify what factors the lower courts should consider when analyzing a particular persons "as applied" circumstances.

     Some federal court's have held that "as applied" factors include how old your criminal conviction is, i.e. how long ago it happened.  For example, if you were convicted of an HQL disqualifying crime twenty years ago, and have had no further run-ins with the criminal justice system since then, that could be a factor that weights in your favor. 

     Our partner attorneys firmly belief in the right of every law abiding citizen to arm themselves if they so choose, particularly in defense of themselves and their loved ones in their own home.  Our office is associated with the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, Inc. for initial representation of Maryland residents who have unfortunately had to use a firearm in self-defense.   


     If the Maryland State Police have chosen to "not approve" your Handgun Qualification License based on a disqualifying criminal conviction, you may still have recourse in the Maryland Administrative and/or Federal Courts.  Normally the time to appeal a denial is limited, so contact us today to discuss the denial and your options to challenge it to regain your right to own and possess a firearm.  

     We take pride in furthering the rights of every citizen, no matter what color or creed, in securing the rights to gun ownership guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States as originally intended by the Founding Fathers of the Nation.   Click here to see a representative case challenging a denial of a Maryland Resident's HQL application.