Gun owners tend to be passionate about their rights to bear arms. And the general public mostly has safety as its main concern when it comes to gun ownership. In the end, it's up to the states to balance those two interests. Each state can have different laws and they can overlap with federal law. So trying to get a handle on gun regulations can be a bit tricky. Penalties for breaking firearms-related laws can be severe, resulting in hefty fines and long potential prison sentences in the most severe cases. Before you find yourself in trouble, it is wise to learn the state and federal regulations that control the purchase, possession, and use of firearms. Here's a brief summary of gun control laws in Maryland.
Maryland Gun Control Laws
State gun control laws regulate the purchase and use of firearms, and can vary from state to state. Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are prohibited under Maryland’s gun control laws. The state also imposes a 7-day waiting period for prospective gun buyers.
Maryland Gun Statutes
Not all states treat firearm laws the same way. The main provisions of Maryland's gun control laws are listed in the table below.
|Code Section||Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Title 4, Subtitle 1, Section 4-101 et seq.|
|Illegal Arms||Short-barreled rifle or shotgun|
|Waiting Period||7 days|
|Who May Not Own||1. Fugitive from justice; 2. Convicted felon; convicted of crime of violence; 3. Habitual drunkard; 4. Addict/habitual user of narcotics/amphetamines/barbiturates; 5. If spent more than 30 consecutive days in mental institution for treatment; 6. Under 21 yrs.|
|Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds||Misdemeanor. 27, 36A|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Federal Gun Laws
While Maryland and other states have their own gun laws, federal law also regulates gun ownership by determining the kinds of firearms citizens may legally own. And where federal and state laws intersect, federal law always trumps state law. While the Second Amendment guarantees the ability to own certain firearms, the government can put some restrictions on the right to bear arms. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the National Firearms Act both apply to Maryland gun owners, so it's important to be familiar with both statutes.
In addition to the foregoing regulations there are prohibitions and limitations on the carry, concealment, and discharge of firearms that should be carefully considered.
Maryland Gun Control Laws: Get a Free Initial Case Review
State and federal firearms regulations can be confusing, especially when they overlap. If you have a criminal or civil case involving guns, or if you would like legal assistance to know your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner in Maryland, you can have an experienced Maryland attorney in your area provide a free initial review of your situation to ensure that your firearms don't land you in trouble.
Contact a qualified attorney.