Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board

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History & Enabling Legislation

The HPRB was established in 1972 (Chapter 13, Acts of 1972) to review decisions regarding handgun permits. Any person whose application for a handgun permit or renewal of a permit has been rejected or whose permit has been revoked or limited may ask the Board to review the decision of the Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. The Board can sustain, reverse, or modify the decision of the Superintendent, or conduct a hearing to establish the facts.

HPRB Regulations & Procedures § 5-302. Handgun Permit Review Board

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC The hearing process is governed by Title 10 Subtitle 2 of the State Government Article in the Maryland Code. Section 10-212 of Title 10 states that, “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law, a contested case hearing conducted by the Office shall be open to the public.” Therefore, [HPRB meetings] are open to the public.

OPEN METINGS ACT Meetings are subject to Maryland's Open Meetings Act.

HPRB Members

Name Position Appointed Term Affiliation Residence Bio
Richard Lee Jurgena Board Member 2015 2017 Unknown Montgomery County, Maryland A Mail Advertising Company Executive
Courtney M. White Board Member 2015 2017 Unknown Baltimore City, MD Managing Director of IOTA Firearms & Security Training Academy
Robert D. H. Wilson Chairperson 2015 2018 Unknown Queen Anne’s County, MD Director of Marina Operations with Meisel & Cohen Properties, a former firefighter and former military. Appointed Chairperson Nov. 2015
Patty Skryja-West Board Member 2015 2018 Unknown Harford County MD Co-Owner of B&S Personal Safety and Firearm Education, LLC

Support Staff

Mr. Russell Neverdon, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Director of Special Services

Ms. Amanda Street, Administrative Assistant 410-339-5010 (No show at 01/05/16 Meeting, and alleged gone)


Meeting Date Meeting Location Meeting Description
2015-09-01 State Police Barrack, Glen Burnie, MD, Conference Room A Quorum of Board Members met for a period of time in the

Conference Room. Determined observers were unlawfully refused access to observe.

2015-10-01 DPSCS Central Hiring Center Cafeteria A notice on the DPCSC website advised the those interested

in observing that the meeting was cancelled. Press reports indicate the meeting facility may have been closed to treat the building for Bed Bugs. Allegations have surfaced accusing a quorum of Board members of holding a secret meeting with Maryland State Police anyway, in violation of Maryland's Open Meetings Act.

Voting Records

Member Meeting Date Votes to Affirm MSP Votes to Reverse MSP Votes to Table Vote Summary
Courtney White 2015-11-17 4 1 1 +3
2015-11-02 3 2 0 +1

Meeting Dates and Times

The Board currently meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6:00 p.m. The Board states that they may meet on the 5th Tuesday of a month, but any such meetings will be announced on their website. The Board further advises that a part or all of any meeting of the Handgun Permit Review Board may be conducted in closed session pursuant to law.

The Board often takes a summer recess, despite the fact that some appeals have languished for a year or more without a hearing, and Writs of Mandamus (a writ or order that is issued by Circuit Court that commands the Handgun Permit Review Board to do that which is required by law), are pending.

Budget and Compensation

Section 5-302(d) under Subtitle 3 of the Public Safety Article in the Maryland Code states that each member of the Board is entitled to: “(1) compensation in accordance with the State budget for each day that the member actually is engaged in the discharge of the member's official duties; and (2) reimbursement for expenses under the Standard State Travel Regulations,1 as provided in the State budget.”

A DPSCS response to a Maryland Pubic Information Act Request submitted in September 2013 for "Any documents detailing the Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board’s Budget & expenditures for the last few years", was somewhat non-responsive.

The reply was, "The cost of the compensation of the Board members, as well as the overtime paid to the Department staff member paid to work during these evening hearings, totals approximately $15,000 a year."

An 2014 follow-up inquiry to the Department of Legislative Services was more helpful. "FY 2012: the Board Chairman was paid $141.88 per meeting; 3 board members were paid $119.88 per meeting; and one board member was paid $109.00 per meeting.

FY 2013: the Board Chairman was paid $142.00 per meeting; 3 board members were paid $120.00 per meeting; and one board member was paid $109.00 per meeting.

FY 2014 the Board Chairman is paid $147.00 per meeting; 3 board members are paid $124.00 per meeting; and one board member is paid $116.00 per meeting.

Currently , the estimate for the FY 2014 budget is about $12,100, based on spending $10,764 as of 5/27/14. The FY 2015 budget is $16,172, which is dependent on the number of meetings held and attendees...

As to any published budget or projected budget reports, there doesn’t seem to be any formal reporting by the Department of Legislative Services or the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services on this particular Board."

Contact Information

For years, and as of this publication, the Board's official website is poorly maintained, contains outdated information, and numerous bad links, including broken links to the MSP Handgun Permit application and Firearms Safety Training.

Other contact information from DPSCS lists: 300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 1000 Towson, MD 21286 410-339-5009

Overview and Pictures of Meeting Facility

Current Location

The Handgun Permit Review Board typically currently meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6:00 p.m. at 6776 Reisterstown Road (West side of Reisterstown Road Plaza Mall) in the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services Central Hiring Unit Conference Room (first floor) Baltimore, MD, 21215.

In September 2015, meetings were cancelled with little notice. This was most likely due to a bedbug infestation.

Previous Locations

Until June of 2015, the Board met in the conference room, inside a non-publicly accessible area inside the Maryland State Police Barracks “P”, located at 6800 Aviation Blvd., Glen Burnie, MD 21061. Knowledgeable visitors had to ask the duty officer to be "buzzed in", in violation of Maryland's Open Meetings Act.

Videos and Transcripts of Prior Meetings

Smigiel v. Handgun Permit Review Board

Applicable Case Law

The Board has historically cited the following cases as justification for their highly subjective and restrictive permitting scheme;

   Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Board
   Snowden v. Handgun Permit Review Board

However, as a knowledgeable attorney points out, "Scherr and Snowden were decided before Heller. The latest decision (Scherr) expressly rejected the constitutional argument on grounds that the 2A does not apply to the States. The SCT in McDonald, expressly rejected that very contention. So Scherr is out of date as is Snowden." For a more detailed explanation, see:

Further, a former MSP Licensing Division Commander points out, "nothing requires an applicant to show that his level of threat and/or danger needs to be GREATER than an ordinary citizen. Rather, in the decision of Snowden v. State of Maryland, the court determined that an individual must have a need for a “reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.” And that danger must be more than one’s PERSONAL anxiety or fear. It does not say that anxiety or fear needs to be GREATER than another citizen’s fear."

He adds that in reviewing the court transcript of Scherr, MSP Detective Sergeant Galloway of the Maryland State Police was questioned as follows; Q So your testimony, then, is that the definite – you have indicated that an acceptable level of danger to you, which would then – based on that, you would then issue a permit. That is more than what – you said, is more than an average person would encounter. That phrase is your own . . . A Yes. Q . . . thinking, right? A Uh-huh. Q In other words, for lack of a better word, you made that up? A Yes. Source:


In 2015 a Writ of Mandamus was filed in Maryland's Circuit Court, charging the Board with failing to hear a case within the 90 days required by statute. The Plaintiff, claimed his appeal had languished for more than a year, among other negligent acts.

Other Documents

Maryland State Police Internal Guidance & Interpretation of Snowden & Scherr

Former Licensing Division Commander's Analysis of Scherr

Notable Cases