Transporting Firearms in Maryland

Maryland is incredibly strict on how a person may transport a gun and for what reason, if any, they may be able to transport them. When an individual purchases a gun, they should be able to bring it home. If they are going to take it to a range, they should be able to take it to the range. But they must properly transport guns or they can put themselves in harm by being arrested.

If they purchased a gun, they should take it directly home. A skilled Maryland gun defense lawyer will have the knowledge and understanding of local firearm laws and how to transfer them safely and without legal issues. Should you ever find yourself in legal bindings due to the improper transportation of a firearm in Maryland, a qualified lawyer can assist you in your case.

Maryland Gun Laws

Maryland firearm owners must comply with the law. If they are going to the gun range, they must go to the range and then come home. Maryland gun owners should keep receipts to show that where they were coming from. If they are going to go out and fire a weapon, they should not drink or do drugs while doing so. Maryland gun owners also should not drink and drive on the way home with a firearm in the vehicle as well.

Under Maryland’s Criminal Law in Section 4-203, states that an individual transporting a firearm in Maryland has some exceptions. These examples include:

  • If they are carrying a handgun on their person
  • in their vehicle or the person is transporting a handgun to or from a legal purchase or sale

It is acceptable to wear, carry, or transport firearms for organized military activities:

  • Target Shooting
  • Formal or Informal Target Practice
  • Sporting event
  • Hunting
  • Department of Natural Resources sponsored firearm or hunter safety class (and others like it)

A Maryland gun collector can transport guns from their collection, private and public, for an exhibition. A handgun can be transported by a person to Maryland real estate that a person owns or leases or where the person resides or to a business establishment that a person owns or leased. Otherwise, a person who does not meet one of the above exceptions is prohibited from transporting, shipping, or moving a firearm in any way or else they risk arrest.

Legally Transporting a Firearm

Inside a vehicle, the gun should be in a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment while also separating the firearm and the ammunition. It should be in a locked container and it should not be in the glove compartment or console.

Essentially, people in Maryland should transport the gun in a safety locked box or a mounted safety locked box, not in the driver’s compartment or within the driver’s immediate control. It could even be in the trunk. The trunk could have certain safes or locked boxes built in, which is common for hunters. They want to have a place to safely store a rifle and when they are going somewhere to hunt.

It is recommended to move out of the way in order to ensure that firearms are not in a zip-locked bag or a transport case. The case itself has to be separate, even disassembled if possible, and kept separate from the ammunitions. An individual should store it at the furthest end of the vehicle as far away from the driver as possible. Alternatively, the individual could put the firearm under the rear seat or mounted on the rear of that back seat so no one can grab it while driving a vehicle.

Unlawful Transportation of a Firearm

When a person is literally not going to and from the place they purchased it, and from a range or to and from a business establishment where they are allowed to carry it, there are exceptions. They include going to hunt, training, certification, safety class. The person may also be sponsored to have a weapon. There is really no other reason to have it on them.

An individual cannot transport firearms on public transportation because they are going to be in public around other people.

An example of someone who is never allowed to transport a firearm in Maryland is anyone with a prior felony conviction. If they do unlawfully transport a firearm, the law will prosecute them not only for the actual wear, transport, and carry but also for having a disqualifier, which is being in possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

Potential Penalties

There is a good amount of crossover in terms of wear, transport and carry unlawful carry of a firearm punishments. An individual has to be very careful as to where they into the category and how the penalties could affect them.

For example, a handgun offense, the unlawful wearing or carrying is 3 years minimum. On a second offense, the punishment is 10 years to 30 years. They are all the same for first offenses and basic for either possessing or unlawfully possessing. The penalties increase if the handgun itself is stolen.

Watch this video to learn more about the consequences of illegally transporting firearms in Maryland

Transporting to Another State

If the gun owner is stopped while driving into Maryland, and disclose that they do have a firearm to the police who was stopping them, they will be arrested. That means the person must return to the State of Maryland later because our penalties are much more stringent than others, especially surrounding states like Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

In states where the carry conceal licensing permits are distinctly different than in Maryland, a person cannot just carry conceal – even the exception has made it illegal for law enforcement, both current and former law enforcement on state and federal levels, or for the military to do this.

Working with Maryland Gun Lawyers

If a person is going to be transporting a gun while traveling interstate, they should be very careful. Also, if an individual is traveling on certain highways in the State of Maryland that are federally-regulated, they have to know the federal regulations. A person who owns or transports a gun in Maryland should know the state laws about transportation. Unfortunately, many people who come into Maryland, roughly 19 out of 20 of unlawful gun transportation clients, are not from the State of Maryland. Maryland laws do not have much leeway, therefore, being familiar with the gun laws is essential.