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Possession of Handguns Under Maryland Law by Convicted Felons and Otherwise Disqualified Persons

Maryland Criminal Attorney – Maryland Criminal Lawyer – Baltimore Criminal Attorney – Baltimore Criminal Lawyer – I receive questions regularly by clients regarding Maryland handgun possession restrictions by people who have been previously convicted of a crime.

Under Maryland law there are basically two classes of citizens who are disqualified from owning or possessing handguns and subject to criminal penalties if they are convicted of being in possession of a firearm that is classified as a handgun. The first classification deals with person’s who have been convicted of either of a crime of violence or a felony drug charge. The following offenses are classified as crimes of violence in Maryland: Abduction, Arson in the First Degree, Assault in the First of Second Degree, Burglary in the First, Second or Third Degree, Carjacking and Armed Carjacking, Escape in the First Degree, Kidnapping, Voluntary Manslaughter, Murder, Rape in the First or Second Degree, Robbery, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Sexual Offense in the First, Second or Third Degree, Attempts to commit any of these crimes and Assault with the Intent to Commit any of these crimes.

A person who is convicted of being in possession of a handgun having been previously convicted of any of these crimes or any felony drug or controlled dangerous substance offense is guilty of a felony and is subject to a mandatory penalty of five years incarceration. That sentence may not be suspended and the person is not eligible for parole. The second classification of persons who are prohibited from possessing handguns involves persons who have been convicted of a disqualifying crime which is defined, as any felony or any crime carrying a statutory penalty of more than 2 years. Also prohibited from possessing a handgun under this classification are fugitives from justice, habitual drunkards, persons who are addicted to or are habitual users of controlled dangerous substances, persons under 21 years old or persons under 30 years old who have previously been found delinquent of a criminal offense for an act that would be a disqualifying crime if committed by an adult, is a respondent against whom a current non ex parte civil protective order has been entered, suffers from certain mental disorders, is a participant in a straw purchase, is visibly under the influence of alcohol, or has not completed a firearm safety course if the weapon was purchased after January 1, 2002 subject to certain exemptions including law enforcement officials as well as members or prior members of the Armed Forces of the United States. Person’s found to be in violation of this provision of Maryland law are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a penalty of up to one year incarceration and a fine of $1000. Under Federal Law