Though people across the country have the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, they may not be aware that there are certain laws that regulate gun possession for public safety. In Maryland, both federal and state laws interact to try to balance the interests of arms owners against those of people who are concerned with safety.
Gun possession laws vary from state to state and, in addition to Maryland's own laws, the National Firearms Act and Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act apply in the state. These laws can be confusing, especially since some of them overlap. Before purchasing a firearm, however, it is essential to understand what laws are applicable to weapons possession and if one is even eligible to own one.
As per Maryland Code Criminal Law, a convicted felon, or someone who has been convicted of committing a violent crime, is a fugitive from justice or even a habitual drunkard, cannot own a firearm. In addition to this, if someone has spent more than 30 consecutive days in a mental institution, they are prohibited from owning a firearm. There are also prohibitions on the type of firearm one may own-for example, a shotgun or a soft-barreled rifle are considered illegal arms.
While there is a constitutional guarantee of gun ownership, multiple laws strictly regulate it and violating the law can result in felony charges. If a person is convicted of this felony, they may find themselves facing a maximum of five years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000. This is why it is very important to be aware of the current law and someone facing weapons crimes charges may want to consider consulting an experienced attorney.