Owning and carrying a gun is a constitutional right in Maryland. However, there are a lot of rules and regulations on open carry in Maryland that go along with it.
Recently, the state legislature voted to add more restrictions on open carry for permit holders. The new law goes into effect on Oct. 1 and is being challenged by a local gun rights group, Maryland Shall Issue, on behalf of three permit holders.
The state of Maryland requires individuals who wish to open carry a firearm in the state to obtain a permit from the State Police. The process is extensive and includes passing a background check, completing a 16-hour training course, and getting fingerprinted.
There are some exemptions from the permitting requirement, including for those with active top-secret government clearance and people who can document that they are at risk of harm or targeted by those wanting to do them harm. However, the law excludes many people who would otherwise qualify.
The NRA’s legal arm has filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the licensing requirements for open carrying as unconstitutional. The group is asking the federal court to declare that the restrictions are disproportionate to the needs of the public and will deter law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights. The suit also asks for an injunction that prevents the state from enforcing the laws until the Supreme Court makes a final ruling on the issue.
Places Where You Can Carry
It is legal to openly carry a handgun in Maryland, as long as you meet minimum permitting requirements and are not carrying it for the purpose of harming or threatening someone. To get the permit, you must pass a background check and take a firearms safety course.
However, even if you have the permit to carry, there are certain places where it’s illegal. For example, it’s against the law to carry a weapon on state rehabilitation centers or facilities for adult care. You also cannot carry a gun in buildings used for hearings by members of the general assembly.
The legislature is working to tighten up the laws on how and where you can carry a gun. They are also working to add more requirements for gun owners, including requiring training, increasing fees, imposing new disqualifiers and establishing a red flag program. These changes are in the wake of a recent Supreme Court decision that upended concealed carry laws.
Searches by Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officers are required to conduct a search of a person carrying a weapon in public places. The reason for this is to ensure that the weapon is not a threat to anyone and is not being used illegally.
A permit holder may carry a handgun in the state of Maryland. However, they cannot carry one with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds. In addition, new residents must register their guns in less than ninety days after establishing residency.
Maryland lawmakers have been working to increase gun laws in the state over the last few years. They have banned untraceable “ghost guns,” required background checks for private sales of regulated firearms, and established a program called “red flag” to temporarily confiscate weapons from people who might harm themselves or others. The latest restrictions on open carry are meant to keep children from getting their hands on guns and to make sure that the people who have permits to carry are responsible and vetted.
Red Flag Law
Nineteen states and Washington, DC have passed laws known as Red Flag laws or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). These allow family members, law enforcement, and even educators to petition a court to temporarily remove guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Red-flag laws can be lifesaving. For example, a Maryland man who had been under an ERPO was removed from his home and prevented from buying or owning firearms by police after his family contacted authorities.
But a new study suggests that the effectiveness of Red Flag laws may depend on how well they are implemented. When a person is stripped of their gun rights, it’s crucial to have the right legal defense team on your side. That’s why we encourage anyone who has received a Red Flag order to contact us today. We’ll fight to keep your gun rights intact. You can find our office in Baltimore, Maryland or at any of our other locations throughout the country.