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Who can possess a firearm in Maryland?

Although certainly people in Maryland have different views on guns and gun control, there are many people in this state who own or may want to have a gun.

Under Maryland law, the general rule is that an adult resident can possess a gun. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. As is the case under federal law, certain criminal convictions will disqualify a person from bearing a firearm. Also, someone who is subject to a protective order, unless it was issued ex parte, may not legally have a firearm.

Additionally, those who have been committed or treated for certain mental conditions may not be able to use or possess a firearm. This rule is not absolute, as many people who undergo mental health treatment are perfectly responsible. However, someone who, for example, has demonstrated violent tendencies and who has a mental illness may be affected by Maryland's laws. Likewise, those who are known to struggle with drugs or alcohol are prohibited from having guns.

These laws raise two important points. First, they illustrate the importance of a Maryland resident's dealing effectively with any criminal charges. Even charges that a person might not see as a big deal can restrict or even extinguish that person's ability to own firearms.

Secondly, there are a lot of ways that even a responsible citizen or someone who hasn't been in trouble for a long time can find themselves facing serious weapons charges, such as unlawful gun possession. Charges are possible even if the person accused did not know he was breaking the law. It is important for a person to get the help of an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney if faced with such a situation.

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