Maryland has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. As a result, many people run afoul of the state’s gun possession laws without even realizing it. This issue is not only limited to those who live in the state, as anyone who travels through Maryland with a weapon is subject to the same laws – even if they have a legal permit in their home state. Additionally, because the state makes it very difficult to legally obtain a firearm, it is often faster, cheaper, and easier to obtain one through illegal means. This is true even in cases of buyers without nefarious intent; and yet, these people are still subject to the same laws as other residents.
The bottom line is that in Baltimore, criminal charges involving firearms can lead to serious penalties, even if you thought you were acting well within your rights as a gun owner. If you or one of your family members was arrested for the illegal use, purchase, sale, or possession of a firearm, such as a handgun, shotgun, or rifle, make sure you have legal representation you can trust. For a free legal consultation with an experienced gun possession lawyer in Baltimore, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice online, or call 24 hours, seven days a week, at (410) 694-7291.
Can You Have a Gun in Baltimore Legally?
Maryland is an example of a “may carry” state where gun laws are concerned. This means that the state police require applicants for gun carry permits to present sufficient reason to justify possession of the firearm. The reasons the state grants permits are fairly predictable: you may have a license to carry if your life is in danger, to protect your business or property, or to protect your home.
Additional exceptions are available for those working in security positions, such as armored truck drivers, private security guards, and law enforcement officers. However, most Baltimore or Maryland residents will likely find it difficult to obtain a firearms permit. Even if you manage to obtain a gun permit in Maryland, the following restrictions still apply on the transport and possession of the weapon:
- Guns are not allowed on school property.
- Guns are not allowed to be transported on public roads or in parking lots.
- A firearm may be transported from the place where you bought it to or from a repair shop, to or from the business where you are licensed to carry it, or between residences. However, it must be kept unloaded in an enclosed case or a holster with a flap or covering in the trunk of your vehicle, stored separately from any ammunition.
Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Firearm in Baltimore
The possession of an unlicensed or unregistered firearm in Maryland is considered a misdemeanor that can lead to up to three years in jail. The minimum jail sentence is 30 days, but a jail sentence can potentially be set aside in favor of probation in some instances. Criminal penalties can be significantly more severe if you have a prior offense, especially for a violent crime or felony, or if the gun possession charge is filed alongside other charges for the same act.
For instance, the possession of high-capacity magazines is illegal in Maryland. As such, possessing an illegal firearm in addition to a large magazine can increase the charges. Anyone who has been classified as a habitual drug user can also face steeper penalties, as can anyone who alters the gun’s serial number or barrel length.
Knowing exactly where the line is located in terms of what is legal in Maryland is critical for those who want to avoid facing serious criminal charges. However, if you are facing weapons-related criminal charges and require legal representation, the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can provide the guidance you need.
Defenses Against Gun Possession Charges
Your ability to avoid a conviction of gun possession will largely depend on the surrounding circumstances. If you are a first-time offender, you have a number of options that can help you to get out from under otherwise damaging charges. A first-time charge of gun possession does not have to ruin your future. A skilled Baltimore weapons crimes attorney can lay out a number of options to help you fight these types of allegations.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to set aside a charge of gun possession is to have the case placed on a Stet docket, a move that essentially puts the case on hold indefinitely. In some cases, this option is only offered under certain conditions, such as in conjunction with community service or the payment of fines and fees. However, these conditions are almost always worth the effort, as placement on a Stet docket offers considerable benefits over time, such as the dismissal of charges or the expungement of your criminal record.
Baltimore Defense Attorney for Felony + Misdemeanor Gun Possession
If you find yourself under arrest for gun possession in Baltimore, know that the charges should not be taken lightly. Because of the seriousness and complexity of Maryland’s gun laws, retaining effective legal counsel can make all the difference to the outcome of your case. Baltimore gun possession attorney Randolph Rice has more than a decade of tactical courtroom experience to get you through this difficult time, protecting your Second Amendment rights while fighting to minimize or avoid penalties.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide the assistance you need with your case. To set up a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice online, or call today at (410) 694-7291.