Individuals in Maryland and across the United States of America are protected under the Second Amendment, which affords them the right to bear arms. That being said, not all firearms are legal, and certain circumstances actually forbid certain people from possessing firearms. Please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense attorney to learn more about how to lawfully purchase and own a handgun in Maryland to help ensure you do not violate any of Maryland’s gun laws, even accidentally. Here are some of the questions you may have:
How do I purchase a handgun in the state of Maryland?
To purchase and possess a handgun in Maryland, you are required to first have a handgun license. To obtain a handgun license, you will have to meet various qualifications and follow a series of steps. To start, you will have your digital fingerprints taken at a Maryland fingerprint processing center. These fingerprints will be turned over to the Maryland State Police. From here, you will submit your application to own a handgun to the Maryland State Police for the Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL).
From here, you will have to complete and pass the Firearms Safety Training Course. Once you do, you will receive your Handgun Qualification License. You may then verify the license with a firearms dealer and complete your application to lawfully purchase a handgun. The dealer will then submit the application to the state police, and as long as the application is approved (usually within seven days), you may purchase the handgun.
What happens if I am caught unlawfully possessing a firearm in Maryland?
As previously stated, not all people in Maryland are allowed to purchase and possess firearms. For example, if you are a convicted felon, you are prohibited from owning a firearm. Others are also prohibited owning certain firearms, and if you are caught unlawfully possessing a firearm, you will most likely face a wide array of penalties that can drastically affect your life for years to come. The penalties for the unlawful possession of a firearm in Maryland are as follows:
- First offense: Up to three years in jail and a potential $2,500 fine
- Second offense: Up to ten years in prison and high fines
Further, if you are accused of using a firearm in the commission of a crime, you will most likely spend several years in prison, face high fines, and more. There are also mandatory and non-paroleable sentences for certain gun crimes. If you have any additional questions, our firm is here to help.
Contact our experienced Maryland firm
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Anne Arundel County and Howard County, Maryland who need legal assistance for criminal defense or personal injury matters. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.