Against the back drop of seemingly endless and senseless gun violence throughout the country, firearm legislation has become tougher over the past year in many states such as Maryland. Laws that were passed in 2012 were officially put into effect in October of 2013 and changed a lot of the gun legislation for Marylanders. The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 placed a ban on 45 different types of semi-automatic handguns and rifles in the state, including the infamous AK-47. Along with banning certain types of guns, the law also reduced the allowable capacity for a detachable magazine from 20 down to 10 for guns that are still considered legal in Maryland.
Receiving a Handgun Qualification License has become even more difficult as well. Some states like Florida are known as carry states because it is relatively simple to acquire a permit to carry a weapon if you have no criminal record. Simply fill out the forms and get your permit to carry. However, the other side of that equation is that if you use your gun in an unlawful manner, such as pointing it at somebody, you can get as much as 10 years in jail for that simple act. Florida law as to handguns, while easy to get the permit to carry, can be extremely strict if you are on the wrong side of “an event.” Conversely, if you are on the right side of an event, for example somebody is robbing you at gunpoint, then it certainly is convenient to have a weapon. The problem is it can get a little cloudy as to when you can use the weapon when you feel your life is threatened, but the offender does not have a gun. If you are on the wrong side of an event like that, even though you are not the aggressor, you can be in the wrong.
Having said all that, Maryland is a “no carry state.” That means, while permits can be obtained, it takes an act of Congress to get such a permit. In other words, no mere mortal is going to get a permit to carry a weapon. Maryland prefers that only the bad people, the criminals have guns, the good a law abiding citizens of Maryland will not be permitted to carry weapons. Period!
Maryland’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are:
- Four-hour class that includes learning state handgun law, home safety for handguns, operation of handguns (including loading, cleaning, and unloading), storage of firearms, and knowledge about ammunition. The final part of the class is a handling demonstration that includes a live fire.
- Fifty dollar registration fee.
- Fingerprinting and background check.
- And most importantly, there must be some kind of objective legal need for the permit. The fact that you desire a permit is not good enough. The fact that you may feel threatened is not good enough. The fact that you carry money or jewels is often not good enough.
- Bottom line, in Maryland, forget it!
It is important to stay on top of laws like this so you understand your rights and know when they’re being taken advantage of by a police officer. It’s necessary to know exactly what you are allowed to own and how much so that if you are ever questioned, your rights are fully respected. If you do violate one of these laws, though, it will be necessary to retain advice from a Maryland criminal lawyer with experience in handgun legislation and how it affects you as a citizen.
Robinson & Associates, located in Baltimore, Maryland is a premiere criminal defense law firm practicing for over 20 years. With a former state’s attorney and former public defender, they have the necessary resources and experience to help resolve your situation quickly and successfully while supporting you throughout this difficult time.
To learn more about this blog, Maryland Gun Laws: How have they changed? or to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.