Maryland Takes Weapons Charges Very Seriously

The right to bear arms is constitutionally guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, but individual states can, and do, place restrictions on that right. Maryland has some of the most serious weapons restrictions in the nation ― restrictions that come with very harsh penalties if you violate them. For instance, even if you legally own a handgun, police can arrest you on your way to the gun range if they believe you are in violation of the state’s wear/carry/transport law. This law is very specific about the way you can transport a handgun: unloaded, in the truck, in a locked box, with ammunition in a separate part of the vehicle.

So what are the possible penalties for a legal handgun owner who transports his or her gun in a locked glove box? Jail time of up to three years for the first offense. Penalties get much more severe and include mandatory jail sentences for individuals with prior handgun offenses, felonies or prior violent crimes. Maryland gun laws and restrictions can be particularly tough on out-of-state residents as well. When pulled over by Maryland police, Virginia gun owners will often tell the officer if they have a handgun in the car ― as they are supposed to do in Virginia ― only to have the police arrest them. These people are not hardened criminals trying to break the law or sneak handguns past police, but merely individuals trying to abide by the law as it is in there state, and they are arrested for it.

Common Weapons Offenses

There are many other serious weapons offenses under Maryland criminal law in addition to the wear/carry/transport law discussed above, including:

  • Felon in possession of a firearm (Maryland Public Safety Act 5-133)
  • Wearing carrying or transporting a firearm (Maryland 4-203)
  • Use of a handgun in the commission of a felony or crime of violence (4-204)
  • Firearm nexus to drug trafficing (Maryland 5-621)
  • Armed robbery (Maryland 3-403)

Many counties are very strict when it comes to the enforcement of Maryland gun laws, especially Prince George’s County. Frequently, they will prosecute misdemeanor gun charges in Circuit Court to ensure that experienced prosecutors and seasoned judges are hearing misdemeanor cases, which would otherwise take place in the District Court.

Maryland legislators have also enacted mandatory non parole-eligible sentences for individuals who possess firearms in association with drugs or are convicted of felonies or disqualifying crimes. The police also have the ability to charge every passenger in a vehicle even if they only recover a single weapon.

You Need Experienced, Dedicated Legal Guidance

If you are facing serious weapons charges and need to speak to an experienced Upper Marlboro weapons charges attorney, contact The Law Offices of John J. Pikulski, IV, LLC. I,  have been defending those accused of criminal conduct for more than a decade. Schedule a FREE consultation today by calling 301-627-5297, or contact me here.