The last year or so hasn’t been great in terms of violent news stories in Baltimore. Those stories kinda trickle down, and Maryland as a whole gets pegged as some kind of modern day Wild West. The truth is, though, that Maryland has some pretty strict gun laws, and you can get in serious trouble – even as a legal, licensed gun owner – if you break one.

So let’s take a look at those laws today.

Current gun laws in Maryland

There are numerous gun laws that apply to guns and firearms. We listed a few of them to give you an idea, but we assume you have things to do today, so we only chose a few. To fully understand your rights to possess a weapon and what conditions apply, please consult with our office. Our Annapolis gun crime lawyers understand which laws protect your and which ones can lead to criminal charges.

No reciprocity. Maryland does not honor out of state gun permits. It doesn’t matter if you have a permit or license from Virginia, North Carolina, or any other state. Whether you open carry or conceal carry a gun, you will be charged and arrested unless you have a valid Maryland license for that gun.

The need to own the gun requirement. Maryland requires more than just passing a background check. Anyone seeking to carry a concealed weapon must show a legitimate need.

How to apply. Applicants, as of October 1, 2019, must apply for a gun permit online through the State Police website. The website provides answers to numerous questions depending on the type of weapon and what you want to do with it. For example:

“How can I legally transport firearms within / through Maryland?

​They must be unloaded, in a carrying case, holster with a flap and the ammunition should be separate. It would be best to keep the unloaded weapon in the trunk where you do not have access to it. There are further regulations but essentially you can only transport a handgun between residence, to and from a repair shop, a shooting sporting event, between a residence and place of business if substantially owned and operated by the person.”

Initial requirements. The requirements for buying, renting, or receiving a handgun are set forth in Title 5, Section 117.1 of the Maryland Statutes. Unless the person is a member of law enforcement, an active or retired member of the military or National Guard, or is buying an antique firearms – the applicant must

  • (i) possesses a valid handgun qualification license issued to the person by the Secretary in accordance with this section and must show they are
  • not otherwise prohibited from purchasing or possessing a handgun under State or federal law.

The core qualifications. The minimum qualifications for obtaining the license are that the person:

  • is at least 21 years old;
  • is a resident of the State;
  • except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, has demonstrated satisfactory completion, within 3 years prior to the submission of the application, of a firearms safety training course
  • based on an investigation, is not prohibited by federal or State law from purchasing or possessing a handgun

Title 5 Section 303 requires that “A person shall have a permit issued under this subtitle before the person carries, wears, or transports a handgun.”

There are numerous related laws governing who can sell firearms, what background checks are required, when extreme risk protective orders can be issued, the waiting periods, prohibitions against transferring assault weapons, and other matters.

Our Annapolis gun law attorneys represent clients who are charged with illegal possession or use of any type of firearm. This includes using a gun or weapon in the commission of another crime. Where you can verify your right to carry the weapon, we assert the law on your behalf. If your right to carry or use a firearm is disputed or it’s clear you didn’t have the right, we hold the government to its duty to prove each and every part of the charges against you. We fight to suppress illegally obtained evidence. To speak with an experienced defense lawyer in Annapolis, Centreville, or Ellicott City, call us at 410-271-1892, or use our contact form – to arrange an appointment.

And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.