Regulated firearms range from handguns to high powered assault rifles. With the high crime rate in and around Baltimore, these types of weapons are heavily regulated. If you are facing criminal charges associated with the use or possession of a regulated firearm, you need an experienced lawyer to help you avoid a potentially lengthy jail sentence.
At the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., our Baltimore criminal lawyer has tried thousands of cases through his own practice and in his prior history in working with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office. Between our knowledge of the law and our experience in the criminal court system, we can help you strategize the best course of defense in your case.
Individuals Prohibited From Possessing a Regulated Firearm in Maryland
Under Section 5-101 of the Maryland Public Safety Code, regulated firearms consist of everything from handguns and pistols to assault and semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. These include popular models, such as AK-47s and M-16s, which are now manufactured in the U.S., as well as the Heckler & Koch G36 and the Steyr AUG, which are shipped in from overseas.
In order to be able to purchase, sell, or transfer ownership of a regulated firearm, you must file and complete your application through the Maryland State Police. There is a seven-day waiting period before your application can be processed, and you will be required to pass fingerprinting and background checks. Those who are prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm in Maryland include:
- Anyone who has been previously convicted of a violent crime or a violation of the controlled substances law;
- People with a history of chronic alcohol or drug problems;
- Those with a history of mental disorders or who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health care facility in the past, and those who have been voluntarily committed for a period of 30 days or more;
- Anyone convicted of a juvenile crime, which would have been a disqualifying crime had it been committed by an adult;
- Those subject to restrictions due to a protective order, and those with a criminal history of domestic violence and assault.
Crimes Involving a “Regulated Firearm” in Baltimore
With the number of regulated firearms on the streets and the amount of firearm crimes increasing throughout Baltimore, law enforcement and the legal system are aggressive in arresting suspects, pressing charges, and assigning strict penalties upon conviction. If you are facing these types of charges, you need a lawyer who will fight for your rights, while providing you with a strong legal defense. At the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., we represent clients charged with regulated firearm crimes, including:
- Possession of an unlicensed firearm;
- Carrying a concealed firearm;
- Unlicensed sales or transport of firearms;
- Carrying a firearm on or near a school;
- Using a firearm to threaten or intimidate others;
- Possession of a regulated firearm if you are a convicted felon;
- Possession or using a regulated firearm in the commission of a crime or violent assault.
The best defense starts early in your case. If you are arrested and charged with any of the above regulated firearm crimes, it is vitally important to contact our Baltimore criminal lawyer as soon as possible to help avoid potentially severe penalties.
Charges and Penalties for Regulated Firearm Crimes
Under the Public Safety laws and Section 4-301 to 306 of the Maryland Code, regulated firearm crimes carry serious penalties, involving heavy fines and mandatory minimum sentencing. In addition, your charges will remain in a permanent criminal record, potentially preventing you from obtaining student loans or employment, and even impacting your ability to qualify for a home mortgage or apartment lease. Penalties associated with regulated firearm crimes include:
- Possessing, Selling, or Transferring a Regulated Firearm Without A License and Carrying A Concealed Firearm – This is generally a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to three years in jail and fines up to $5,000. With each subsequent offense, these penalties increase.
- Possession of a Firearm By A Felon or Disqualified Person – This is a felony charge, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 15 years imprisonment.
- Possessing a Regulated Firearm in the Commission of a Felony or Violent Crime – This is a felony charge, punishable on a first offense by a mandatory minimum sentence of five to 20 years’ imprisonment. Subsequent offenses carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ jail time.
It is important to note the above penalties are in addition to any other criminal charges you face. This sentence is served consecutively, not concurrently, with other jail time you receive, and the law prohibits judges from reducing the mandatory minimum.
Our Baltimore Regulated Firearm Possession Attorneys Can Help
If you are charged with misdemeanor possession of a regulated firearm, your case will be heard in the District Court of Maryland, depending on the area in which you reside. If you are charged with a felony regulated firearm crime, your case will be heard in the Circuit Court. Depending on the circumstances involved, you could also be facing federal firearms charges through the U.S. Department of Justice as well.
Due to the serious nature of these crimes, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible if a warrant has been issued or immediately upon your arrest. Vital services we provide include:
- Assistance at bail and bond hearings so that you remain free while pending trial;
- Representing you at hearings and arraignment, and negotiating with the prosecuting attorney to have your charges reduced or dismissed;
- Collecting evidence in your favor, such as witness testimony and crime scene photos, and making legal arguments on your behalf in in the event your case goes to trial.
When you are facing criminal charges that could result in a potentially lengthy jail sentence, you need a lawyer you can trust to aggressively defend your rights and interests. We serve Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, and Worcester Counties; get the help you need and call or contact the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr. online today.