While the Second Amendment allows people to own and possess a firearm, there are certain regulations in place on a state level to ensure that they are used safely. The state of Maryland holds its own complex laws regarding firearms. It is important to know what is legal and illegal regarding these weapons to ensure that you do not commit a gun crime. Continue reading below to learn more and contact a Maryland gun crimes attorney for assistance if you are charged.
What are the Gun Laws in Maryland?
The state of Maryland has different laws depending on the type of gun. It views handguns differently than long guns. Handguns are considered a “regulated firearm.” This means that owners are required to have a license, a permit to purchase, and, in certain situations, a permit to carry. Additionally, they must register the handgun. On the other hand, residents of the state do not need a purchase permit, a license to own, or a license to carry a long gun. This can include rifles and shotguns. Individuals also do not need to register a long gun in Maryland.
In 2013, Maryland banned assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles, and large-capacity magazines. Individuals who are found to be in possession of these firearms can face unlawful possession charges that can come with serious consequences as a result.
Who Cannot Possess a Firearm in Maryland?
One of the state regulations that Maryland imposes on firearms is who can and cannot possess a regulated firearm. The following individuals are not permitted to possess one:
- Convicted felons
- Individuals who have been convicted of violent crimes
- Habitual users/drunkards
- Individuals under the age of 21
- Individuals who have spent 30 days or more in a mental institution
What are Different Gun Crimes?
In addition to unlawful possession, a person can be convicted for unlawful carry in Maryland. Residents in Maryland are not permitted to carry a firearm unless the State deems there to be a necessary reason and issues a carry permit. Those who are charged with illegally carrying a handgun can face a misdemeanor charge, resulting in jail time, and serious fines.
Individuals who commit a violent crime while in possession of a gun may face combination offenses. These are extremely serious charges that can cause offenders to face decades in prison and be subjected to mandatory minimum penalties. Using or simply possessing a firearm during a crime can upgrade the original charges and add time to a sentence. This can include the following examples:
- Second degree assault can be upgraded to first degree assault
- Robbery can be upgraded to armed robbery
Contact our Firm
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Howard County and Anne Arundel County, Maryland who have been charged with a crime. If you are facing criminal charges, let our firm explore all possible defenses and fight to protect your future. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.