While Maryland residents can lawfully possess firearms, they can do so only under certain conditions. In fact, possessing or operating a firearm outside of these conditions can be a punishable crime. Unfortunately, many people commit these crimes unknowingly. They do no understand how they can and cannot possess and use a firearm in the state. Here’s what you need to know about Maryland firearms charges.
Adults, age 18 years of age or over, can possess long guns such as shotguns and rifles, without a permit. At the age of 21, an adult can apply for a permit to obtain and carry a concealed handgun. However, they can only do so after completing a firearm training course. Permits may not be granted to individuals deemed unfit to carry weapons, such as a person addicted to drugs.
Felons Cannot Possess Firearms
It is illegal for a felon to possess a firearm of any kind. Typically, felons are denied firearm permits and may face additional charges if law enforcement finds out.
Carrying a Dangerous Weapon
In some cases, concealing a dangerous weapon — including brass knuckles, throwing stars, or knives — is lawful if it is deemed that the weapons were meant to be used only for self-defense, which is reasonable under the circumstances. On the other hand, openly carrying a dangerous weapon with the intention to do harm is considered a crime and is charged as a misdemeanor.
Carrying Weapons on School Property
In Maryland, it is a crime to possess any deadly weapon on school property. This is not necessarily limited to firearms but most certainly includes them. Even if you have a permit, you cannot take a firearm onto school property. Exceptions are made for law enforcement officers or security officers hired by the school.
In some cases, there are city ordinances that prohibit the discharge of firearms within city limits. Even if you are in lawful possession of a firearm, discharging it within the limits of a city with an ordinance against firearms is a crime.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are charged with a weapons crime, particularly a firearms crime, in Maryland, protect your rights with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer’s help. Call J. Christopher Llinas today for more information at (443) 235-5793.