Harford County Gun Lawyer
Maryland and a number of other states around the nation have cracked down on the possession of firearms. Violators of gun laws face prosecution with the potential to serve lengthy prison sentences. If you or a loved one is charged with a gun-related offense, you may wish to speak with a Harford County gun lawyer.
There are many exceptions and potential defenses that may apply to your gun charges. An experienced criminal attorney may be able to assist you in exploring those defenses and determining whether any of them are applicable in your case.
Possession of Handguns
Under Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 4-203, it is illegal to carry or transport a handgun, whether concealed or not, unless individuals fall within an exception to the law or possess the proper permits and licenses. It is also unlawful to carry or transport a handgun in a vehicle traveling on a road or in a parking lot used by the public or on public school grounds.
Federal laws may also bar certain individuals from possessing any firearms, which may include those convicted of a felony offense or a domestic violence crime.
The individuals who are exempt from this law must be authorized to carry a handgun as part of their official equipment. These individuals may include:
- Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, as well as those from other states visiting the state temporarily on official business
- On-duty or traveling members of the military or the National Guard
- Correctional officers and wardens of correctional facilities
- Sheriffs and assistant or deputy sheriffs, including temporary and volunteer sheriff’s deputies
It is also legal to carry a handgun in certain situations, such as when transporting the gun between a home and business, to and from a repair shop, and to and from a place of purchase. Individuals also could transport handguns in connection with target shooting, hunting, and exhibition activities. All handguns must be unloaded and in enclosed cases or holsters when being transported. A Harford County lawyer could help a person understand their local gun laws.
Penalties for Illegal Possession of a Gun
Individuals charged with illegal possession of a handgun in a Harford court may face a misdemeanor conviction that carries a potential sentence of incarceration ranging from 30 days to three years and a fine ranging from $250 to $2,500. The minimum term of incarceration for this offense increases to 90 days if the offense occurs on public school property.
If individuals have previous convictions for this offense, they may likely receive higher fines and longer terms of incarceration on a second or subsequent offense. The individuals may be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence during which parole is not a possibility in certain cases. Since the possibility of significant prison time for this offense may exist in Harford County, speaking with a gun lawyer may be wise.
Other Gun-Related Criminal Offenses
Crimes of Violence and the Use of Firearms
Using a firearm for the purposes of committing a crime of violence is illegal under Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 4-204 even if the firearm was inoperable at the time of the criminal offense. While this offense is a misdemeanor, a conviction for this offense could result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 20 years.
Possession of Assault Weapons
Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 4-303 makes it illegal to transport an assault weapon into the state or to possess, sell, or purchase an assault weapon. There may be some exceptions for specific weapons purchased prior to certain dates and licensed firearms dealers.
How a Harford County Gun Lawyer Could Help
While the Second Amendment may offer certain protections to gun owners, states typically do have the right to place reasonable restrictions on the possession, sales, and carrying of handguns in certain places and by certain individuals. As a Harford County gun lawyer may be able to advise you, the consequences of running afoul of these gun laws may be severe.
Educate yourself about the nuances of gun laws in Harford County before ever attempting to carry a weapon. Many of these laws are complex, so for any questions that you might have about gun rights, you may wish to look no further than a Harford County criminal defense lawyer.