Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm in Maryland

If someone unlawfully discharges their firearm in Maryland, they can face serious penalties. Certain locations like a gun range or forest during hunting season, allow people to lawfully discharge their weapons. However, outside of those parameters, if someone discharges their firearm, it is considered unlawful discharge of a firearm in Maryland. Since there are clear restrictions on discharging a firearm, it is essential that someone consults with a gun attorney if they are charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm.

If you are facing charges for unlawful discharges of a firearm in Maryland, consider consulting with a Maryland gun attorney. Penalties for these charges can range from $250 to a $1,000 and can have long-term effects. A local gun attorney can work hard to build a defense case and represent you in court.

Legal Discharge of a Firearm

The easiest place to discharge a firearm in a way that is safe and secure is at a gun range. They are located throughout each county. The gun range will want the person to come in and fill out some paperwork, or present licensing, to show the person is the owner of the gun. If a person is going to a gun range to discharge their own firearm, he needs to make sure that he transports it properly and legally.

That means that it is completely unloaded, that is separate from the ammunition, and that both are stored in the trunk, as far back in the person’s vehicle as possible, so they are not able to grasp quickly or in their immediate control. Transportation is exceptionally important, but taking a firearm to a gun range is going to be by far the safest thing a person can do because the person knows he is in an environment where he is allowed to fire. That is the number one priority for that person to discharge their weapon in a place where they can, in fact, do so.

Conditions for Unlawful Discharge

Outside of a gun range, is absolutely illegal. If the person is not hunting, it is illegal. Firing a gun into the air or on private property or a farm in some fashion is illegal. In a tight environment in the city or somewhere similar, there are public announcements made on major holidays not to discharge a weapon. It sounds silly, but people still do it. If a person unlawfully discharges their weapon in a populated area, the person could be charged with recklessly endangering the greater public. Even an accidental discharge can result in charges. If a person does not properly carry their firearm, it goes off in their pocket and shoots a hole in the sidewalk or their foot, the person can be charged for that and the penalties can be quite severe.

This includes BB guns and pellet guns which are prohibited. Depending on what the circumstances are and the type of firearm that was discharged, the penalties can certainly vary, but the prosecutors do try to send a message with these. If a person is not at a firing range, the best bet is the person probably should not be firing that gun unless he is out hunting. Hunting requires a permit and it must be in season.

Unlawful discharge of a weapon outside of a target practice or anywhere that a person can lawfully use a firearm, in the event that the person is not hunting, the maximum penalty is a misdemeanor that is a fine of $250 to a $1,000.


Every firearm has a unique signature on the bullet that comes out, caused by the way that the bullet turns as it comes out of the barrel itself, which leaves an imprint almost like a fingerprint. If a person is alleged to have discharged their weapon, it matters if someone saw it. If the officer witnesses it, that is one thing. But if no one witnesses the person discharge a firearm, but this event was in a local area where they hear it, and the person happens to have a gun on their person, they could be in trouble.

There are a couple of things that the police can look at in terms of proving that the person discharged their weapon. First, they examine the person’s hands and clothing for discharge residue from the actual bullet expelling from the weapon itself. They can match the expelled bullet to the gun with a ballistic/forensic test. The person has to turn in their weapon for testing. It is reasonable that it could come up as it being a match. If they cannot match the bullet to the weapon, that is going to be an issue for law enforcement to get beyond.

Consult an Attorney

It is crucial that people follow Maryland firearm policies. Unlawful discharge of a firearm i nMaryland can result in penalties because the judge wants to ensure that people are being safe with their firearms and are discharging them safely and legally. These policies are in place to protect the general public and prevent reckless endangerment the greater public due to unsafe firearm practices.

If you or a loved on is facing charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm in Maryland, consult a legal team who can build a defense case. A skilled Maryland gun attorney can assist you during this process. There are clear penalties, rules, and regulations, regarding gun safety to prevent unlawful discharge of a firearm in Maryland.