Tags: maryland | gun laws | firearm safety | concealed carry

Maryland Gun Laws and How They Compare to Washington DC

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 07:56 PM

Both Maryland and Washington, D.C., gun laws are considered to be some of the strictest gun ownership laws in the nation; and as the legislative landscape is fluid, gun owners need to keep track of gun restriction laws in both areas.

Maryland enacted a strict new gun law in 2013 that banned most assault weapons, put specific restrictions on the allowed capacity of ammunition magazines as well as restrictions on the possession of ammunition. Known as the Firearm Safety Act, the law specifically identifies which guns meet the definition of an assault weapon. The law also requires that gun owners undergo a background check by the Maryland State Police that includes fingerprinting before being able to purchase a gun.

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Historically gun laws in Washington D.C. have been extremely strict and until just recently, the District did not issue carry licenses. However, in July 2014, the United States District Court in D.C. struck down the complete ban on the carrying of firearms. According to the opinion written by Judge Frederick J. Scullin, the Second Amendment allows the right to carry outside of the home and the carry ban in D.C. violated that right.

In response, D.C. officials requested a stay on the effect of the court’s decision ostensibly to provide time to assess the impact on D.C. laws. After the stay expired, D.C. did enact a policy of “may-issue” on concealed carry, but the policy is extremely restrictive and under challenge by the D.C. Council. As reported by the firearms legal defense organization U.S. Law Shield, D.C. councilmember David Grosso said, “We’d like to have much stricter no carry rules at all … preferably no guns at all.”

Currently, Maryland gun laws allow for the unregulated sale of shotguns or rifles provided they are not classified as an assault weapon under the Firearm Safety Act. Handgun purchases, licenses, and carry permits are strictly regulated, and restrictions on their possession, transfer, or sale include anyone under 21, convicted criminals, those addicted to drugs and alcohol, those with mental disorders, and those without a qualified license.

In Washington D.C., guns may only be bought from a licensed dealer in D.C. and the Metropolitan Police Department must approve the transaction before the buyer can take delivery of the firearm. Every firearm must be registered and there are exacting possession restrictions placed on those under the age of 21, those who have a criminal or controlled substance abuse history, have mental disorders, have physical defects that might affect the ability to safely operate a firearm, or have demonstrated an unclear understanding of D.C. firearm laws.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws of your state and destination before travel.

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Both Maryland and Washington, D.C., gun laws are considered to be some of the strictest gun ownership laws in the nation; and as the legislative landscape is fluid, gun owners need to keep track of gun restriction laws in both areas.
maryland, gun laws, firearm safety, concealed carry
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2014-56-12
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 07:56 PM
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