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Bethesda Gun Lawyer

The gun laws in Bethesda and throughout Maryland are among the strictest in the nation. Simply applying for a permit to carry requires establishing that there is a substantial reason to need to carry the firearm outside of the applicant’s home.  This standard is not common for carrying permits in other jurisdictions but has been deemed constitutional by Maryland courts. As such, possessing firearms when there is a legal prohibition against doing so or carrying one without a valid permit are punished harshly.

When the penalties are harsh, it is imperative to have legal advocacy by an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you or a loved one has been charged with a gun violation, you should consult a Bethesda gun lawyer that has significant experience handling gun charges.

Gun Carry Laws

Maryland does not have reciprocity for open carry or concealed carry permits, which means that even if another state, commonwealth, or district has given an individual a permit to carry openly or concealed, it is not recognized in Maryland.

Wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun in Maryland is prohibited, absent a Maryland issued license to do so, which differs from the reciprocity requirements in most jurisdictions.

Violation of this law is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to three years’ incarceration for the first offense. The incarceration penalty for the second offense can increase with up to 10 years imprisonment. Beyond the second offense, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years and a maximum of 10 years.

Illegal Possession

The law related to unlawful possession differs from the carry laws in that it specifically bans the sale, possession, and use of assault rifles. Assault rifles include many semiautomatic pistols, including, but not limited to Nighthawk pistols, the Linda pistol, the Claridge HI-TEC, and the Bushmaster. Possessing illegal firearms on the first offense is punishable by fines up to $5,000 and up to three years’ incarceration.

Felony Gun Conviction

Any prior felony conviction is a bar for subsequent gun ownership unless a person petitions and is granted a restoration of their civil liberties. Once an individual is convicted of a felony, they cannot own or possess a handgun or assault weapon. A seasoned Bethesda gun lawyer understands that possessing firearms after a felony conviction, including rifles and shotguns if the conviction was a violent offense, is a separate felony offense that has significant penalties.

Violations can be punished as a violation of probation for the initial offense that led to the individual being on probation, if applicable. A person is subject to any penalties associated with probation violation, including returning to prison to serve the remainder of the original sentence. Additionally, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon is a penalty that is subject to fines up to $10,000 and up to five years’ imprisonment, if convicted.

Attaining an Attorney

If someone has been charged with a gun-related offense, there is a real possibility of being subject to expensive fines and possible incarceration. If there has been a prior conviction for another gun-related offense or any felony, the penalties increase significantly and may include mandatory minimum sentences.

Having a local Bethesda gun lawyer who has successfully handled similar gun charges ensures that your case will be handled by someone that is able to put forward an effective defense. It also increases the chances of the case is resolved with the best possible outcome.