What many visitors to Maryland don’t realize is just how strict gun laws are in this state. They are some of the strictest in the country and are heavily enforced, often resulting in a potential jail sentence and is generaly up to 30 days to 2 years.
An experienced gun or weapons defense lawyer can help fight for you should you be accused of illegal possession, carry, or transportation of a firearm in Maryland. However, being aware of such gun laws and regulations, such as those outlined below, can help you to avoid penalties and an arrest in the first place.
Transferring Handgun Permits from Another State
First off, what if you’re visiting Ocean City for the weekend or another Maryland location and have a concealed carry permit inside your vehicle? Or you plan on going hunting or to a shooting range? If you have a handgun permit from your state of residence, does that transfer over so that you can legally carry a firearm with you?
Unfortunately, no. In Maryland you are required to have a Maryland handgun permit on you, even if you are just visiting. Take necessary action before your trip to Maryland by applying for a handgun permit well in advance if you do plan on bringing your firearm with you.
Transporting a Firearm Legally in Maryland
Your destination when transporting a handgun in Maryland plays a big role in any possible charges as well. You may legally transport a handgun from its point of purchase back to your home, to and from a shooting range, on a hunting trip, to and from a gun training or certification course, etc.
The underlying factor here is that you need a legal reason for transporting your firearm to another location. Keep in mind that you may be required to show a law enforcement officer a receipt of activity if you are pulled over in between these destinations.
Firearms also need to be safely transported in a locked container. Stashing a handgun in a glovebox, middle console, or out in the open, especially within close reach of the driver, is prohibited. The locked box may be stored in the trunk of the vehicle or under/behind the seat farthest from the driver’s seat. While in the locked box, the gun needs to be unloaded and the ammunition stored separately.
Prohibited Areas to Carry a Handgun
Even if your firearm is registered and you have a valid Maryland permit, you can still be charged if you are carrying your handgun in the following prohibited areas:
- Demonstrations such as a public march, speech, rally, or vigil. The firearm should not be on your person or within your vehicle if it is less than 1,000 feet from a public demonstration.
- Public places including public transportation, public parks, public streets, public parking lots, and in front of or in the direct area surrounding a public place of business.
- Public schools which currently refers to public K-12 schools but not private schools or colleges and universities. However, be cautious when carrying a firearm in such locations that, again, you have a legal reason to do so.
Finding a Maryland Gun Lawyer
You won’t find much flexibility when it comes to Maryland gun laws. But that’s where a strong criminal defense lawyer like C. Gregory Coburn can help.
If you’re visiting Ocean City or Maryland, or live within the state, and are facing firearm charges and serious penalties like imprisonment and/or large fines, don’t wait to call our local law office. With over 30 years of experience defending clients in similar cases such as yours, we can help you avoid or lessen such charges. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin building a strong defense on your behalf.
Schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case or to learn more about gun laws in Maryland.