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.
Last week's blog post mentioned weapons charges ensuing a search of the accused's home. It is important for Maryland residents to understand the search and seizure rules in order to ensure their constitutional rights are not infringed upon. When they are, they may be able to challenge the felony gun charges levied against them.
Individuals accused of a crime have criminal defense options to consider. In a nearby Maryland community northeast of the Silver Springs area a man was recently arrested on weapons charges and drug charges. The 37-year old man remains in jail following his arrest on $750,000 bail. According to police, they received information that someone was selling drugs at the location where the man was arrested. Authorities reported that they obtained a warrant for the search of the man's home and seizure of illegal items.
Many gun owners in Maryland are enthusiastic about their right to own firearms, but the general public is concerned about the safety issues posed by those firearms. Maryland state and federal laws have passed regulations to control possession and use of guns in Maryland. Even though regulating gun ownership is a bit tricky, gun control regulations by both state and federal laws try to balance the interests of people who own firearms against those whose major concern is safety.
When a Maryland resident is accused of a felony or a misdemeanor, that person might be judged by peers, society and, in some cases, the media, before the case is heard in a court of law. The prejudiced minds of people can often overshadow reality. When the accused is convicted of the crime, the penalties are often eclipsed by social excommunication. A guilty verdict often seems like a scarlet letter that is continually worn by the convicted person, which goes beyond the punishment the court deemed fitting.
Maryland, as a general rule, does not consider handguns with permits issued from other states to be valid in Maryland. However, there is an exception to that rule, which is an armored vehicle. In that case, the person might be working for the federal or state government and the person is stationed in Maryland. While gun possession as a general rule is not strictly illegal, possession without a valid license can come with many legal penalties, especially in cases where the person with a gun is accused of using the gun to commit a crime.
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.