In some circumstances, possessing a gun can lead to criminal charges. Therefore, it is helpful for people in Maryland to understand some basics of both state and federal gun laws.
Under federal laws, in some circumstances gun possession is prohibited. Individuals who have been convicted by a crime punishable by a year or more in prison, which is another way to refer to a felony charge, are prohibited from possessing a firearm. In addition, fugitives from justice; individuals who are addicted to a controlled substance or illegally use a controlled substance; and individuals who have been ruled mentally defective by a court or committed into a mental institution are also prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Likewise, illegal aliens living unlawfully in the U.S.; individuals who have renounced their U.S. citizenship; individuals who have received a dishonorable discharge from the military; individuals convicted of committing domestic violence; and individuals who are subject to a restraining order related to their children, an intimate partner or the children of an intimate partner are all prohibited from possession a firearm. Charges related to illegally possessing a firearm can lead to significant potential consequences and penalties for the accused individual.
In addition, state gun laws can also lead to charges if violated, so it is important to be familiar with gun laws in the state where the individual possesses the gun. Gun charges can lead to a criminal record and potential criminal penalties, which can be worsened for felons who are accused of possessing a gun. As a result, it is important to be familiar with gun laws and the criminal defense protections available to individuals accused of committing a weapons crime.