State of Maryland has one of toughest gun control regulation in the nation.
WEARING, CARRYING AND TRANSPORTING HANDGUN
In Maryland, wearing, carrying, or transporting handgun whether concealed or open is prohibited. Specifically, a person may not:
- Wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person;
- Wear, carry, or knowingly transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, in a vehicle traveling on a road or parking lot generally used by the public, highway, waterway, or airway of the State;
Moreover, a there is a rebuttable presumption that a person who transports a handgun transports the handgun knowingly.
The above listed prohibition does not apply to a person who is authorized at the time and under the circumstances to wear, carry, or transport the handgun as part of the person’s official equipment, and is:
- A law enforcement official of the United States, the State, or a county or city of the State;
- A member of the armed forces of the United States or of the National Guard on duty or traveling to or from duty;
- A law enforcement official of another state or subdivision of another state temporarily in this State on official business;
- A correctional officer or warden of a correctional facility in the State;
- A sheriff or full-time assistant or deputy sheriff of the State; or
- A temporary or part-time sheriff’s deputy;
Violation of the listed section carries significant penalties and ranges depending on the severity of the offense between 30 days to 10 years of incarceration. Violation of the section during a commission of crime significantly increases the penalties, and imposes incarceration period between 5-20 years in addition and consecutive to the underlying crime.
DEFINITION OF FIREARM
Firearm is defined as:
- A weapon that expels, is designed to expel, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; or
- The frame or receiver of such a weapon.
- Firearm also includes an antique firearm, handgun, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, starter gun, or any other firearm, whether loaded or unloaded.
LIMITED SEARCH AND SEIZURE PROVISION
The Statute authorizes the law enforcement to make an inquiry and conduct a limited search based on an officer’s observations, information, and experience, and reasonable belief that:
- The person may be wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun;
- Such may be dangerous to the officer or to others
- under the circumstances, it is impracticable to obtain a search warrant; and
- to protect the officer or others, swift measures are necessary to discover whether the person is wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun.
If there is a reasonable articulable belief then the officer may:
- Approach the person and announce the officer’s status as a law enforcement officer;
- Request the name and address of the person;
- If subject in a vehicle, request the person’s license to operate the vehicle and the registration of the vehicle;
- Inquire and request any explanation that may be reasonably calculated to determine whether the person is unlawfully wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun; and
- If the person does not offer an explanation to refute the officer’s reasonable beliefs, conduct a limited search of the person including patting or frisking of the person’s clothing in search of a handgun.
MARYLAND LEGISLATIVE INTENT
As the gun possession and ownership laws have expanded the interpretation of the Second Amendment, the Maryland legislature seems to move in the direct of more restrictive regulation as it has found and expressed:
- The number of violent crimes committed in the State has increased;
- A high percentage of violent crimes involves the use of handguns;
- There is a substantial increase in the number of deaths and injuries correlated and connected to the carrying of handguns in public places;
- Current law has not been effective in curbing the more frequent use of handguns in committing crime; and
- Additional regulations on the wearing, carrying, and transporting of handguns are necessary to preserve the peace and tranquility of the State and to protect the rights and liberties of the public.
It is critical in all charges involving weapons of any kind to employ and to engage an experienced MD Criminal Defense lawyer/MD gun lawyer at once.
Weapons charges carry significant and substantial jail time as well as stiff financial penalties and are generally subject to vigorous prosecution by the State.
Contact our Maryland Criminal Lawyer/Maryland gun possession lawyer today to schedule a case evaluation and analysis.