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Maryland Shall Issue, et al. v. Anne Arundel County, Maryland


(U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, January 23, 2024) The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a local ordinance passed in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, that requires firearm sellers to make visibly available in their shops and distribute to all customers who purchase a firearm or ammunition a County-provided pamphlet related to gun safety and suicide prevention. Firearms sellers challenged the law arguing that the ordinance required them to engage in compelled speech in violation of their First Amendment right because the information in the pamphlet is not factual or uncontroversial. The Court disagreed, finding that pamphlet factually informs purchasers of the nature, causes, and risks of suicides and the role that guns play in them and encourages purchasers to store their guns safely to help reduce suicides. The pamphlet neither discourages gun purchases nor indicates that guns cause suicide. Reviewing statistics about gun-related suicide, the Court found that the ordinance is reasonably related to the County’s interests in suicide prevention and not unjustified or unduly burdensome. As a result, the Court upheld the ordinance. Read the full Opinion here.

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