Lloyd Muldrow, a concealed-carrying Marine Corps veteran, was the right man in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, he was in the wrong city and the wrong state.
According to The Washington Times, Muldrow, a security specialist from North Carolina, faces up to a year in prison after stopping a man who allegedly pistol-whipped a bar patron.
Muldrow’s crime? He brought a gun within 100 feet of a public building in Baltimore — in Maryland, a state with one of the toughest gun control policies in the nation.
“Mr. Muldrow, 57, had just arrived at a July 4 gathering of family and friends at Tequila Sunset in Baltimore when another patron, Wesley Henderson, became upset after seeing his ex-girlfriend dancing with Marshall Cullens, according to the Baltimore state’s attorney charging document,” the Times reported.
“Mr. Henderson allegedly shoved Mr. Cullens and then brandished a handgun, striking him in the head. He also shouted threats like ‘I’ll kill everyone,’ Mr. Muldrow said.”
“When I got there, I saw him [Cullens] bleeding profusely from his head. It looked like he had a gunshot wound to his forehead,” Muldrow told the paper.
“He was bleeding so badly that I couldn’t do anything but react. I saw the guy with the pistol in his hand, and I hit the guy and knocked him down. We went to the ground, and I secured the pistol from him.”
“I mean, I reacted based on my training,” he added. “I spent years training Marines to defuse situations.”
Muldrow served in the Marine Corps Security Force Regiment and told the Times he’d been in the presidential security detail and trained his fellow Marines in hand-to-hand combat.
Is this criminal case a travesty of justice?
Yes: 99% (2150 Votes)
No: 1% (18 Votes)
However, the problem began when an officer asked where the gun was.
While the gun Henderson allegedly used to attack Cullens had disappeared — Muldrow’s attorney said that in the body cam footage, “you hear police say it’s a pretty common occurrence in Baltimore that, by the time they get there, the gun has disappeared” — Muldrow told the officer that his firearm, a .22 caliber Beretta M9, was holstered on his hip.
An officer then pulled back his jacket and found the firearm — which Muldrow didn’t even have to draw. Under Baltimore’s law, it doesn’t matter.
Here’s where it gets muddy, though: Muldrow has a concealed carry permit, but that permit was issued in Virginia. Maryland has no concealed-carry reciprocity, meaning it recognizes no other state’s permits. Eleven states recognize Maryland’s permits, including Virginia.
However, Maryland’s concealed carry laws were likely among those rendered unconstitutional by a landmark Supreme Court decision this summer, New York State Rifle v. Bruen. In that case, the court struck down a New York law that required applicants to show a special need to carry a gun outside the home by a 6-3 margin, finding it violated the Second Amendment.
Maryland is yet another show-cause state, although GOP Gov. Larry Hogan responded to the court’s decision by suspending the state’s “good and substantial reason” standard for issuing permits.
Yet, despite the fact that police officers thanked him for stopping what could have been a far more serious attack — and the fact Henderson is now facing an aggravated assault charge — Muldrow is now facing a weapons violation rap.
“Lloyd gets up and walks out and he’s walking around a free man for a while, and you hear a bunch of cops lamenting the fact that their lieutenant has said, ‘find out if that gun is legal,’” Michael Stark, Muldrow’s attorney, told the Times.
“And it sucks because the police do have discretion. They don’t have to make arrests in every single case.”
Indeed, one of the first responders says, on the body cam footage, that “this guy probably saved somebody’s life, and he got arrested.”
“The [police] reaction was, ‘thank you, because we didn’t have to kill nobody and we didn’t have to shoot nobody,’” Muldrow told the Times. “The officers, even when they took me to the jailhouse, it was like, ‘please look out for this guy. This guy took care of us.’”
Not only could this end with a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, Muldrow would also lose his concealed-carry permit if he’s convicted. That’s could put his job at risk; Muldrow is a safety and training manager.
Stark has created a GiveSendGo page to raise money for Muldrow’s defense.
“Lloyd Muldrow is an accomplished Marine, a self-defense instructor and a church-going mentor to young people,” Stark said in a statement, according to the Times.
“Now, because of Maryland’s outdated, and possibly unconstitutional gun laws, he faces jail as if he were every bit as criminally-minded as [the assailant], rather than the selfless hero for his country and his friends that he proved himself to be.”
Muldrow isn’t going to take a plea deal, however. He wants the government to put a hero in front of a jury and see whether they’ll convict.
“I’m not going to settle with probation or anything like that. I don’t think it’s fair,” he told the Times.
“I’ve carried overseas in different countries, and you’re telling me I can’t carry my weapon from one state to another? I’ve trained more than the average police officer, and I can’t carry from Virginia to Maryland? I have a real big problem with that.”
“This was clearly the case of a dude taking heroic actions to subdue an armed assailant,” Stark said. “Because of the favorable facts here, I’ll probably put it in front of a jury and see if a jury agrees.”
Indeed, this is the right decision. The only way this shouldn’t go in front of a jury is if the prosecution drops the charges.
Muldrow’s actions were far from reckless. This was the proverbial “good guy with a gun” — except he didn’t even need to draw the gun to stop another man with a weapon who promised to kill everyone in the bar at that time. Police were thanking him for saving their lives.
And then, he got cuffed.
If the police and the state can’t exercise discretion in a case like this, they won’t exercise it in any case. Lloyd Muldrow should walk — and if the prosecution won’t do that, it’s time for Second Amendment-loving Americans to turn up the heat on them.