Gun Laws in Maryland 2013

Gun laws in Maryland

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Recent events

On April 4, 2013, the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation imposing significant new restrictions on gun ownership. The bills ban the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms that they define as assault weapons, limit magazine capacity to ten rounds, require that handgun purchasers be fingerprinted and pass a training class in order to obtain a handgun license, and bar persons who have been involuntary committed to a mental health institution from possessing firearms. Governor Martin O’Malley signed the legislation into law on May 16, 2013.[11]

Gun laws in Maryland regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Maryland in the United States.

Maryland
Flag of Maryland.svg

Location of Maryland in the United States

Contents

State Constitution

The Constitution of Maryland contains no provision protecting the right to keep and bear arms. The State preempts some local firearm regulations, though local governments may regulate firearms with respect to minors and areas of public assembly. Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, Gaithersburg, and Baltimore are known to have local firearm regulations.[1][2][3]

Regulated firearms

The Maryland State Police maintain a registry of “regulated firearms” that are allowed to be sold within the state. Dealers must forward the manufacturer-included shell casing in its sealed container to the Department of State Police Crime Laboratory upon sale, rental, or transfer of a “regulated firearm” for inclusion in their ballistics database, known as the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS).[3][2]

Laws prohibiting firearms

Detachable magazines capable of holding more than 20 rounds may not be manufactured or sold, though they may be possessed. Certain pistols are banned and are defined as “assault pistols.” Any of the “assault pistols” on the list are lawful to possess only if they were registered prior to August 1, 1994.[1] Only handguns on the official handgun roster may be sold in the state. Private sales of “regulated firearms,” which includes handguns, are prohibited. A person must obtain a safety training certificate prior to purchasing “regulated firearms” and present that certificate prior to each purchase. With some limited exceptions, only one “regulated firearm” may be purchased in any 30-day period. Handguns manufactured on or before December 31, 2002 must be sold or transferred with an external safety lock. Handguns manufactured after December 31, 2002 may only be sold or transferred if they have an internal mechanical safety device.[3][2]

Firearms are prohibited from certain places, including schools and demonstrations.

Carrying a handgun, whether openly or concealed, is prohibited unless one has a permit to carry a handgun or is on their own property or their own place of business. The Maryland State Police may issue a permit to carry a handgun at their discretion and based on an investigation.[3][2] On March 5, 2012, a federal judge ruled in Woollard v Sheridan that Maryland’s “may issue” concealed carry law is unconstitutional, writing, “A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights.” The Maryland Attorney General’s office is planning on appealing the ruling.[9] On August 1, 2012, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (U.S. Federal) issued a “stay” preventing the lower court’s opinion from taking effect.[10]

Recent events

On April 4, 2013, the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation imposing significant new restrictions on gun ownership. The bills ban the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms that they define as assault weapons, limit magazine capacity to ten rounds, require that handgun purchasers be fingerprinted and pass a training class in order to obtain a handgun license, and bar persons who have been involuntary committed to a mental health institution from possessing firearms. The governor is expected to sign the legislation into law.[11]

Summary table

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
Permit to purchase required? No Partial* *Handgun purchases must be approved by the state police. Buyers of handguns must complete a training course or hold a concealed carry permit. Private sales of handguns are prohibited.
Firearm registration? No Yes The state police maintain a permanent record of all handgun transfers.
Owner license required? No No
Carry permits issued? No Yes Maryland is a “may issue” state for concealed carry. Applicants must demonstrate a “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun. Permits are normally very hard to obtain.
Open carry permitted? No Yes Open carry is technically permitted with a concealed carry license, but is not generally practiced.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Maryland has state preemption for most but not all firearm laws.
“Assault weapon” law? No* Yes *.50 BMG caliber rifles and certain other models are are considered “regulated firearms”. There is also a ban on “assault pistols”.
Magazine Capacity Restriction? Yes Yes Illegal to sell or manufacture magazines with a capacity of greater than 20 rounds within Maryland. However, possession of magazines greater than 20 rounds is legal
NFA weapons restricted? No* No* *Automatic firearms must be registered with the state police and short barreled rifles and shotguns must be owned in compliance with federal law.

References

  1. a b c “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms” (PDF). Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  2. a b c d e “State Gun Laws: Maryland”, National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  3. a b c d e “Maryland State Law Summary”, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  4. a b “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms, p.214″ (PDF). Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  5. ^ “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms, p.215″ (PDF). Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  6. ^ “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms, p.216″ (PDF). Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  7. a b “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms, p.218″ (PDF). Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  8. ^ “Maryland Regulated Firearm Training On-Line”. Mdgunsafety.com. January 1, 2002. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  9. ^ Associated Press (March 5, 2012). “Federal Judge Finds Right to Bear Arms Not Limited to Home, Md. Handgun Law Unconstitutional”The Washington Post. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  10. ^ Staff Writer (1). “Federal appeals court grants stay in Md. gun case”Local: Maryland. Associated Press. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  11. ^ Gabriel, Trip (April 4, 2013). “New Gun Restrictions Pass the Legislature in Maryland”New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
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