Anne Arundel County Gun Lawyer
In Anne Arundel County, there are significant penalties for those who are in unlawful possession of a handgun, and enhanced penalties for the possession of a weapon in certain locations (such as a motor vehicle or a public school). As such, if you suspect that you are under investigation for a weapons crime in Anne Arundel County, or if you have been formally charged, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced Anne Arundel gun lawyer. More information pertaining to the weapons laws and penalties of Anne Arundel County can be found below.
Anne Arundel Gun Lawyers Can Work to Protect You
When it comes to handgun purchase, possession, and carry, Maryland’s laws are some of the strictest in the United States. In other jurisdictions, individuals who have no criminal record, are not afflicted by some form of mental illness, or are not habitual drug users, are permitted to own – and in some cases, carry – a firearm (including a handgun). By contrast, the state of Maryland has more stringent restrictions for purchasing and carrying firearms. Maryland also does not have reciprocity with other states, meaning that Maryland will not recognize permits validly obtained in other jurisdictions.
Also, if you are planning to move to Anne Arundel County and you have a handgun permit from a different jurisdiction, especially one outside of the state, you can consult an Anne Arundel gun attorney to ensure that you have filed the required paperwork with the appropriate authorities. This will help prevent any mix-up in the future and you can feel confident that you are not violating any Maryland or Anne Arundel gun laws.
Anne Arundel Gun Lawyers Handle Unlawful Possession of Handgun Cases
Per Section 4-203(a) of the Maryland Criminal Code, it is unlawful for an individual to do any of the following, subject to certain exceptions codified under Section 4-203(b).
- “Wear, carry, or transport a handgun, either concealed or not, on their person without a permit”
- “Wear, carry, or transport a handgun in a vehicle in parking lot, traveling on a road, highway, waterway or airway”
- “Wear, carry, or transport a handgun on public school property”
- “Wear, carry, or transport a handgun with the intent to injure or kill another person”
Many times, it is also illegal to possess a regulated weapon even in one’s own home if the person has been previously convicted of a disqualifying crime. This particular legal charge is largely misunderstood by the public. Most Maryland citizens believe that only felony convictions preclude a person from possessing a handgun. But in fact, Maryland citizens are prohibited from possessing a handgun if they have been convicted of any crime of violence, or any statutory misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of more than 2 years; in addition to convicted felons. An Anne Arundel gun lawyer can further explain these prohibitions if you are unsure whether you are in violation of Maryland law.
Prohibitions on the “Use” of a Handgun
Typically, weapons crimes are prosecuted in connection with another substance offense allegedly committed by the accused individual. Maryland provides enhanced penalties for the “use” of a handgun or antique firearm in the commission of a crime (Section 4-204). The word “use” is somewhat of a misnomer, as one does not have to literally discharge the weapon during the commission of the crime. The ambiguity of the term was clarified in the case of Bailey v. United States (1995), in which the Supreme Court rejected the proximity and accessibility test as a basis for determining the meaning of “use.” The person must actively employ the weapon in order to be charged with “use” of a weapon to commit a predicate offense. Depending on the specific crime a person has been charged with when they were possessing a firearm, Maryland gun laws carry a mandatory sentence of five years in prison that cannot be suspended; and is not subject to parole; it’s an ironclad five years.
The terms “possession” and “use” can be difficult to understand, and appear ambiguous. This reality is somewhat telling of the law, as legal terminology is very specific and subject to judicial interpretation. Moreover, the aforementioned underscores the importance of having knowledgeable and skilled legal counsel for representation.
Federal Prohibitions on Carrying a Firearm
In addition of the groups listed above, the following people may not carry a firearm in Anne Arundel County per federal restrictions codified under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g).
- Anyone who is younger than 21 years of age
- A fugitive from justice
- A “habitual drunkard”
- A person who is addicted to, or a user of, a controlled substance
- A person who has spent more than 30 consecutive days in a medical institution for a mental disorder (although your doctor can certify, in writing, that you pose no “undue danger” to yourself or others by possessing a firearm)
- If you have certain lawsuits pending against you
- Someone who has committed certain crimes when they were a juvenile that would be a disqualifying crime for an adult at the time the crime was committed, and the person is age 30 years or younger when applying for a handgun license
All convicted gun possession offenders face severe punishment if found guilty – even if the gun is inoperable – when they are arrested and charged with illegal gun possession.
Penalties for Unlawful Carrying
A first offense for illegally carrying a firearm in Anne Arundel County includes a fine of at least $250, and could reach $2,500, at least 30 days in jail or up to three years in prison; or both.
- A second conviction carries a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison and the same financial penalties as that of a first conviction.
- A third (or subsequent) conviction calls for a prison term of 3 to 10 years, and the same fine schedule listed above.
- Penalties for carrying a weapon on school property include a fine of up to $1,000, up to three years in prison, or both.
- Those who carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if they are at a public demonstration are assessed a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail, or both.
- Those who commit robbery or theft with a gun will more likely than not be charged with both substantive offense in addition to the weapons violation, which can result in a lengthy term of incarceration if convicted.
Additionally, it is important to understand that there are a variety of federal restrictions that are controlling in Anne Arundel County, and the state of Maryland at large. In order to properly understand the penalties for weapons violations, it is crucial to speak with experienced legal counsel that has a sophisticated understanding of the entire regulatory framework applicable to the facts of your case.
Consult With An Aggressive Anne Arundel Gun Lawyer Today
A gun charge alone can have a negative and long-term impact on your professional and personal life. This is why a defense lawyer is needed from the time the offenders are in questioning. Seeking help as early as possible is always in your best interest. Our Anne Arundel gun lawyers can help you preserve your rights and defend you aggressively against government allegations. And if you have any questions about Anne Arundel gun laws – and their effect on your ability to legally own or carry a firearm – please consider us at your service.