Howard County Gun Lawyer
It’s a criminal offense to carry, wear, or transport a handgun in Maryland without the necessary open-carry or concealed permits. There are, of course, exceptions: on-duty law enforcement and corrections officers, and certain military personnel. You may possess a firearm inside your residence without a permit. Due to these strict rules and the potentially serious penalties violators can face, a Howard County gun lawyer is available to advocate for those accused of violating gun laws in Maryland.
Howard County Gun Attorneys Can Help With These Cases
As a Howard County gun lawyer can explain, adults in Maryland may openly carry long guns – rifles or shotguns – without a permit and may carry concealed firearms after obtaining a permit. All who wish to have a Handgun Qualification License in Maryland must submit an application to their local law enforcement agency. be at least 21 years old, have no felony convictions, and not be addicted to controlled substances or confined to an inpatient psychiatric facility, though upon release from one, after 30 days, they may receive written notice from their doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist that they are no longer a threat. All applicants must also complete a certified firearm training course.
Handgun qualification licenses are available to Maryland citizens who wish to carry a handgun for legitimate purposes, such as to sell or repair the weapon or going to and from their business, or a shooting range. But traditional carry permits have additional restrictions that concealed carry permits do not.
The gun must be placed in a protective box not immediately accessible to the driver of the vehicle, and it must remain unloaded, with the ammunition in a different location from the gun. It is best to keep the unloaded weapon in the trunk where you do not have access to it.
Even if you are arrested in possession of a gun that was purchased legally, you may be charged with a misdemeanor offense if you wear, carry, or transport an unregistered gun without the proper permits. A conviction can draw a penalty from three months in county jail to three years in the state penitentiary, along with a fine of $250 to $2,500 meaning it’s important you contact a Howard County gun lawyer if you’ve been accused.
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
Since there are a large variety of firearms, as well as degrees of gun offenses, punishments that fit the crime take up a lot of pages in Maryland statutes. Below are a few of the more common charges – and their penalties – in addition to misdemeanor possession of unregistered firearms charges outlined above.
- Penalties for the misdemeanor of carrying a weapon while on school property include a fine of up to $1,000, up to three years in prison, or both. A second offense calls for one to 10 years in prison. Subsequent convictions can bring a five- to 10-year prison sentence.
- If a person uses any firearm in a crime of violence, it is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, with no possibility of parole for the first five years of the sentence, and possibly additional sentencing for the violent crime committed.
- Possession of a firearm at a public demonstration (or in a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a demonstration) can be charged with a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Penalties for carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
It is generally illegal for a person to transport an assault weapon into Maryland or possess, transfer, purchase, sell, or offer to sell an assault firearm. The penalty is up to three years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. However, if a machine gun (or assault weapon) is fired unlawfully, it is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, in addition to penalties from any crime committed while possessing the weapon.
Why to Hire a Howard County Gun Lawyer
Even though most gun charges are classified as misdemeanors, you can see that very stiff fines and prison sentences can come with a conviction; especially for multiple offenses. Additionally, it is illegal to own certain types of ammunition (such as “cop killer” Teflon coated bullets) and most bulletproof vests. Maryland is very tough on gun law violators.
This is why it may be wise to contact a Howard County gun lawyer if you’re charged with violating gun laws in Howard County. A gun attorney in Howard County will be able to explain the legal ramifications of facts of your case and can fight to protect your rights before and in court.