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What should I know about gun purchases in Maryland?

Maryland has some strict laws for some aspects of gun purchase and ownership. Anyone who is considering purchasing a gun should be aware of the gun laws that apply to any purchase because violating these laws can have significant criminal charges that carry hefty penalties. Here are the answers to some common questions about gun purchases in Maryland:

Can I buy guns from an individual?

There aren't many restrictions on private long gun sales; however, handgun sales and assault rifle sales have to be conducted through a licensed gun dealer or a law enforcement agency. In the case of assault weapons and handguns, you will have to go through a background check if you are the purchaser.

Are there any restrictions on gun purchases?

You can only purchase one assault weapon or handgun within a 30-day period. Additionally, there is a 7-day waiting period from the application date until the physical transfer date if you are purchasing an assault weapon or handgun. Some large capacity ammunition magazines and some assault weapons might not be able to be purchased legally. Check on the laws pertaining to the items you want to purchase to avoid facing criminal charges because of an illegal purchase.

Are there any education requirements for gun purchases?

If you are purchasing a handgun or assault weapon, you have to take a certified firearm safety course before you can purchase the gun. There aren't any similar requirements for the purchase of long guns.

If you have been charged with any weapons charges in Maryland, you should begin working on your defense strategy right away. Understanding the laws pertaining to your situation can help you decide on how you should fight against the charges.

Source: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, "Maryland State Law Summary," accessed Dec. 09, 2015

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