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Knife laws and weapons charges in Maryland

A weapon is virtually anything someone can use to intimidate, harm or kill another person. In Maryland, firearms are the most frequently used weapon, but the state has for decades considered knives to be dangerous also, which is why there are extensive statues governing when and how knives can be carried. By understanding what these laws cover, Maryland residents can avoid being charged with criminal offenses or better defend against any violations that are charged.

Residents can own a wide variety of knives in Maryland, including butterfly -- or balisong -- knives, stilettos, daggers, dirks, gravity knives, switchblades, ballistic knives, lipstick knives, belt knives, throwing knives, throwing stars and Bowie knives.

The main restrictions come with carrying these weapons openly or concealed. No one is allowed to carry openly or by concealment the following -- Bowie knives, dirks, switchblades, gravity knives or throwing stars. Any type of pocket knife can be carried openly or conceal carried by anyone.

The state has distinguished different types of knives based on their general intended use. Anyone can carry a knife that does not open automatically such as utilitarian knives that can be used to perform a wide variety of cutting tasks -- these are legal and can be carried openly or concealed. Weapons such as throwing stars and knives with automatic switches are mainly used to harm other people.

Anyone who carries or displays a dangerous weapon could face severe criminal consequences. Anyone charged with violating the state's laws regarding knives faces a misdemeanor conviction with a possible prison term of three years or maximum $1,000 fine or both. Because conviction means probably loss of freedom and a fine, anyone charged with such a crime should work to build a strong criminal defense that can fight the allegations and work to get the charges dismissed.

Source: Knifeup, "Maryland knife laws," Jan. 22, 2013

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013