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Maryland Gun Laws

The state of Maryland has strict rules governing how, where, and for what purpose people may have dangerous weapons, handguns, assault pistols, and machine guns. In particular, assault pistols and machine guns are heavily regulated. Learn how a Maryland gun lawyer can help here.

Deadly Weapons, Generally: Sections 4-101; 4-102; 4-106; 4-107

Definitions: Section 4-101(a)(5)

The term deadly weapon includes a number of non-firearm weapons, including but not limited to:

  • Nunchaku
  • Pepper Mace or Pepper Spray
  • Star knife or throwing stars
  • Dirk knife
  • Bowie knife
  • Sandclub
  • Metal knuckles
  • Razor
  • Switchblade

Deadly Weapons: Generally Section 4-101(c)

It is illegal for any person (1) to possess or wear (2) a deadly weapon of any kind (3) that is concealed on or about the person. Section 4-101(c)(1).

It is also illegal for any person (1) to possess or carry openly (2) a deadly weapon, chemical mace, or a tear gas device (3) with the intent to unlawfully injure an individual. Section 4-101(c)(2).

If a person commits one of these two offenses, then that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000. Section 4-101(d).

However, if the evidence indicates that the weapon was being carried with the deliberate intent of injuring or killing someone, then the court must impose the highest sentence possible. Section 4-101(d)(2). This means that any person committing the latter offense, or any person committing the first offense where there is additional evidence of an intent to injure or kill, then that person faces three years in prison. Section 4-101(d).

Minors Carrying Deadly Weapons Section 4-101(c)(3)

It is a violation of this section for (1) a minor (2) to carry a deadly weapon, whether concealed or not, (3) between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise (4) when not on a bona fide hunting trip or as part of a bona fide trap shoot, sport shooting event, or any other organized civic or military activity. Section 4-101(c)(3)(ii).

This applies in the following counties:

  • Anne Arundel County
  • Baltimore County
  • Caroline County
  • Cecil County
  • Harford County
  • Kent County
  • Montgomery County
  • Prince George’s County
  • St. Mary’s County
  • Talbot County
  • Washington County
  • Worcester County. Section 4-101(c)(3)(i).

If a minor violates this section, then the minor is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Section 4-101(d)(1).

Deadly Weapons on School Property Section 4-102

It is illegal for any person to (1) carry or possess (2) a firearm, knife, or deadly weapon (3) on any kind of public school property. Section 4-102(b). However, this does not apply to:

  • Law enforcement officers performing their official duties or in the regular course of the officers’ duties
  • A person hired by a county board of education specifically for the purpose of guarding public school property
  • A person taking part in an organized shooting activity for educational purposes
  • A person with a written invitation and authorization from the school principal to display or engage in historical demonstrations using a weapon or a replica of a weapon for educational purposes. Section 4-102(a).

If an individual violates this section with any weapon except a firearm, that individual is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Section 4-102(c)(1).

If an individual violates this section with a firearm then the individual is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days to three years in prison and/or a fine of $250 to $2,500. Section 4-203(c)(2)(ii). This violation and related violations regarding firearms will be explained further in the “Handguns” section below.

Bulletproof Body Armor Sections 4-106; 4-107

It is illegal for an individual who (1) has a prior conviction of a violent or drug-related crime (2) to wear, possess, or purchase bulletproof body armor. Section 4-107(a). If an individual commits this offense, the individual is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Section 4-107(k).

It is illegal for any person (1) to wear bulletproof body armor (2) while committing a crime of violence. Section 4-106(b). It is also illegal for any person to (1) wear or possess bulletproof body armor (2) while committing a drug trafficking crime. Section 4-106(c).

If a person violates Section 4-106 by using bulletproof armor while committing a crime of violence or drug-trafficking crime, then that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Section 4-106(d).

A crime of violence, as defined in Section 14-101, includes:

  • Abduction
  • Arson in the first degree
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Mayhem (a crime meaning disfiguring, disabling, or rendering useless a body part such as an arm, a hand, an eye, or a leg)
  • Maiming (a crime that– like mayhem– results in disfiguring, disabling, or rendering a body part useless)
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking or armed carjacking
  • Sexual offense in the first or second degree
  • Use of a handgun while committing any felony
  • Child abuse in the first degree
  • Assault in the first degree, or assault with intent to murder, rape, rob, or commit a sexual offense
  • An attempt to commit any of these crimes
  • Sexual abuse of a minor when the victim is under 13 years of age, the perpetrator is older than 18 years of age, and the abuse involved a sexual act (except touching clothing covering intimate areas)

Discharging a Weapon or Weapon; Target Practice Section 4-108

It is illegal for any individual to (1) target practice with a firearm or weapon, or to discharge a firearm or weapon (2) on the land of another person (3) without obtaining written permission from the owner or possessor of the land. Section 4-108(a).

This section only applies to Anne Arundel County, Caroline County, and St. Mary’s County. Section 4-108(a).

If a person violates this section for the first time in Anne Arundel County or Caroline county, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 to $1,000. Section 4-108(b)(1)(i). If a person violates this section and has one or more prior convictions for this offense (still only within the two aforementioned counties), then that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 to $2,000. Section 4-108(b)(1)(i).

If a person violates this section in St. Mary’s County, then that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Section 4-108(b)(2).

Using a Firearm or Antique Firearm in Commission of Crime: Section 4-204

A firearm is defined in Section 4-204(a) as including antique firearms, handguns, rifles, shotguns, starter guns, or any other weapon that expels a projectile through combustible material.

It is illegal for an individual (1) to use a firearm, whether operable or not (2) while committing a crime of violence or any felony. Section 4-204(b). Although this sounds obvious, the meaning is that the use of a firearm in a crime of violence or a felony is a separate and distinct crime from the primary crime (crime of violence or felony), and as such, an individual who violates this section faces prosecution for both the primary crime and for violating this section. Section 4-204(c)(2).

If a person violates this section, then the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by five to 20 years in prison, with no possibility of parole for the first five years of the sentence. Section 4-204(c)(1).

Possession of Firearm at Public Demonstration Section 4-208

A demonstration is defined in Section 4-208(a)(2) as one or more persons picketing, demonstrating, marching, speechmaking, holding a vigil, or engaging in similar conduct involving the communication or expression of grievances or views with the effect, intent, or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers.

A public place is defined in Section 4-208(a)(6) as a place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for entertainment, business, or other lawful purpose – not limited to places devoted only to public uses. It also includes:

  • Public buildings
  • Areas in front or immediately around (including parking lots) of stores, restaurants, taverns, shopping centers, or any other place of business
  • Public parking lots
  • Public streets, sidewalks, or right-of-ways
  • Public parks
  • Other public grounds

It is illegal for any individual to (1) have a firearm on his or her person (2) at a demonstration in a public place or in a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a demonstration in a public place (3) once that person has been told by a law enforcement officer that a demonstration is occurring at that public place and (4) that person has been ordered by a law enforcement officer to depart from the area of the demonstration until the person has disposed of the firearm. Section 4-208(b)(2). This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer. Section 4-208(b)(1).

If a person violates this section, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 or less. Section 4-208(c).

How a Maryland Gun Lawyer Can Help

There are myriad gun violations in Maryland. Although not all are serious, they all carry fines and can lead to a permanent record. If you have been charged with any gun crime in Maryland, contact a Maryland gun lawyer today.