Updated: Jun 21
We recently had a individual who took our class apply for their Maryland Handgun Permit (to Carry). In the application process, there is always a pretty standard and straight forward interview, nothing to be nervous about. But they will give you a shovel, just don't use it to dig yourself a hole.
This is the email the applicant/past student sent us a couple weeks back; "I had my interview with the state police and an issue came up. I take an anti-depressant because I’ve had both breast and lung cancer. She asked me to get a letter from my doctor but because of liability purposes she won’t do it. Do you know if it is an automatic denial or what my recourse is?"
The statement I am about to make a not to be critical but instead to offer guidance to others as so to avoid this problem.
As I stated, less is more. Simple yes and no answers are needed. If you answer yes to any question regarding medications or mental health- this is the problem you will run into, needing a letter from your doctor.
When you approach your doctor, do not tell them you need anything related to a handgun permit or Maryland State Police- that is information that they do not need.
As per the guidance of the Maryland Department of State Police (see below), you need to:
"obtain a certification from your medical doctor OR the doctor who treats/treated you for your mental disorder/addiction.
The certification must be issued no more than 30 days prior to submission of your application The certification must state that, in the physicians professional opinion, you are or have been successfully treated for the mental disorder. The certification must contain the following state VERBATIM as following: (Your Name) has been successfully treated or (he/she) is continuing to be treated without incident.
The certification will NOT be accepted unless the above statement is included exactly as written above."
Now back at it. What did they say? They said that this certification must state "In my, Dr. Dolittle MD, professional opinion, Johnny Doe has been successfully treated or (he/she) is continuing to be treated without incident."
It does not say (nor should it because it wouldn't meet their requirements) "I, Dr Dolittle, recommend and request that Johnny Doe carry a handgun."
This may come as a surprise to some, but there are people out there that do not like guns. There are people out there that may "like guns" but don't like the idea of people carrying them outside their home. Some of these individuals work as doctors.
This may come as a surprise to some, but there are people out there that see liability when none exist. There are people that take precautions when none are needed.
You should not fill your Doctor in on why you need this certification. Doing so allows them to put their politics between you and your access to your rights.
Your conversation with your doctor needs not be anything more than-
Doctor: What brings you in today?
You: Wanted to get your professional opinion on my treatment. Would you say that I have been successfully treated or that my continuance of treatment has gone without incident?"
Doctor: I would say so. You saw me for 10 months last year and I saw great progress, hence why I didn't find it necessary for you to continue treatment
Doctor: I would say so. You saw me for the last 10 months and I've seen great progress. While I would like to have to back a few more times over the next couple of months, there has been no incidents that I can recall
You: I agree. Do you mind providing me a certification stating as such, here is a print off of the wording I need included verbatim. This is for a personal project I am working on.
They do not need to know exactly what it is for. If you allow them to know, you open a can of worms that makes it extremely difficult for you to access your constitutional rights.