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Who can’t bring a gun to Maryland? What happens if they do?

Gun laws are becoming increasingly complicated to follow — so if you’re planning on moving to (or even just visiting) a different state while in possession of a gun, make certain that you aren’t violating any laws while you do it.

Here are the basics of who can’t own a gun in Maryland:

  • Anyone who has been convicted of crime that would be a felony in Maryland (even if it wasn’t a felony where you were convicted)
  • Anyone guilty of a misdemeanor that carried a sentence of 2 or more years in jail
  • Any “habitual drunkard,” which would mean anyone who has been detained or charged with public intoxication more than once
  • Anyone with a drug addiction
  • Anyone who “habitually,” or regularly, uses a controlled or dangerous drug — which could include something as simple as Percocet or oxycodone that you receive legally from your doctor
  • Anyone under the age of 21 — which can be a major shock to people from states that allow anyone over the age of 18 to possess a firearm
  • Anyone with a mental illness that includes violent behavior, especially those who have been confined to mental institutions
  • People with a legal guardian
  • People who are subject to a civil protective order (sometimes called a restraining order), including those only subject to the order from another state

There are, naturally, some exceptions and legal nuances that can’t all be covered here, so it’s important to discuss any questions with an attorney before you enter the state. If you are caught with a firearm, an attorney may be able to offer several defenses:

1. Illegal Search and Seizure

A police officer has to have justification for his or her search of your person, backpack, car or home. A smart attorney is going to look for ways to challenge the justification for the search that turned up the firearm.

2. Constructive Possession

Just because a firearm is within your vicinity doesn’t mean you brought it there. It may be possible for an attorney to argue that you only had constructive possession of the firearm — with no actual knowledge it was there.

For more information on how to fight a weapons charge in Maryland, talk to an attorney today.

Source: General Assembly of Maryland, “Article – Public Safety,” accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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