Illegal Firearm Modification in Maryland
The single most important thing to do regarding possible weapons modifications to a handgun, shotgun, or other firearm is to contact the Maryland State Police. This is important because the firearm owner wants to assess that any modification they plan to make is in accordance with Maryland and federal law.
With a regulated firearm, an alteration may be permissible. A common modification is with a shotgun where a barrel is extended or shortened. A sawed-off shotgun must be of a length that is reasonable. Maryland law gives an exact length including a minimum and the firearm must be within the minimum of that size.
To make the alteration, a person can always contact an attorney and the Maryland State Police to ensure that the modification is above the minimum size and there is no alteration to the way it fires.
Firearm laws govern the manner in which guns fire. Automatic, semi-automatic, and self-loading weapons are common terms that describe the way the gun discharges at the pull of the trigger. It is important to contact a Maryland firearm layer if you are being charged with modification. A lawyer will show you your options and the steps needed to build a defense.
Altering a Firearm
When someone is thinking about an alteration to a firearm in Maryland; there are many variables to consider including the type of guns such as a handgun, shotgun, or rifle. The type of gun must meet specific requirements under Title I as to what discharges from it, its length, what happens when a person pulls the trigger, and whether multiple shots are fired.
A person cannot have a machine gun. Any gun that sprays out bullets is always illegal. There are attachments that can be purchased lawfully. An individual can to a gun store to find out what they can and cannot buy and what things can be put on the end of a gun.
Penalties for any changes or alterations depend on what is charged. For a charge under the public safety articles for simple modifications to the identification of the gun, a person faces the maximum term of one year. There is no mandatory minimum. Because there are other ways that modifications can be made, charges vary according to whether the type of modification can be made to the gun legally or illegally.
When a person modifies a firearm to be something illegal in Maryland, at that point they possess an illegal gun. It is no longer regulated in any way. The person faces penalties that rise into illegal possession of a firearm, which can be five years when there are no disqualifiers. When a gun was modified unlawfully, that maximum penalty is five years with no mandatory minimum.
There are categories other than handguns. When the weapon is no longer a legal weapon and the person is now unlawfully using or maintaining that firearm, there is a higher mandatory minimum when a person transports it with the intent of committing a crime. Those two offenses can be paired up.
When a person is found with a weapon, there are many factors to consider. When a person unlawfully wears or carries, there is a three-year with a 30-day minimum on a conviction. If the person is found guilty of illegal firearm modification in Maryland, a judge can put them in jail for 30 days. When the person in Maryland modifies the gun, it becomes an unlawful weapon.
Where is the person when they were found in possession of a gun? When someone is found on school property with a gun, that is given greater weight than other matters. Unlawful possessing a firearm under the influence and associated matters must be addressed.
Building a Defense
A person should refer to Title I, a Title I firearm. They should pay attention to whether they need a permit to purchase a firearm under the state law. Rifles and shotguns do not require that a person needs a permit to purchase them. However, a person does need a permit to purchase a handgun. The gun must be registered, licensed, and the permit to carry must be certified. When considering defense possibilities, the person should also review the federal law with a knowledgeable Maryland attorney as to see if anything can be used. Maryland adopts a substantial amount of federal law in these matters.
To be safe in terms of what a person can attach to their firearm, the Maryland State Police can provide information about what firearms are allowable and legal and what are illegal. Most important is what is considered a legal or illegal modification. The Maryland State Police is a great place to start and they even other online places where one can look these things up with the help of a professional Maryland lawyer.
For modifications that people are most familiar such as a silencer or a suppressor, Maryland law enumerates the things that can be possessed and sold and how they can be transacted in Maryland. As an example, when a person is considering purchasing something that suppresses sound, a silencer. In Maryland, the person can legally purchase specific suppressors. The person must be someone who cannot be disqualified for any reason whatsoever. In Maryland, if a person can purchase a firearm and legally possess the firearm, they can legally purchase a suppressor.
Everything is under the National Firearm Act (NFA) so long as it is deemed a legal item, something that can be possessed and owned. So long as a person can possess and own a lawful, legal gun in the state of Maryland; they can legally purchase and own a lawful and legal suppressor or silencer. If a person is being charged with illegal firearm in Maryland, they should contact an attorney to start building a defense.