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Old August 27, 2014, 02:25 PM   #1
bipe215
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Maryland Gun Laws

I live in Tennessee and will be traveling to Baltimore for a couple of days. Virginia has reciprocity so I'm good to the Maryland line. From what I've read, in Maryland, if the gun and ammo are separated in a vehicle (gun in glove box/ammo in trunk?) I'm legal. I worry about getting pulled over and interpreting the laws incorrectly. Any Maryland residents here that can advise? Also, will the same apply if I venture into DC?
Thanks

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Old August 27, 2014, 03:00 PM   #2
wogpotter
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This is layman's terms, not legalese, so proceed accordingly.

Assuming the gun itself isn't banned in MD. There is a list of "Naughty things you can't have" by make & model & even category (such as SBR & so on).

The gun must be unloaded in a separate container from the ammunition.
The ammunition in magazines is fine as long as they can't be accessed while getting the gun from the same container. "Container" isn't clearly identified, but one in the body & one in the trunk should do just fine.

D.C. is its own world. Any advice I gave you on that would be hearsay so I'll just "Shaddup" & let someone living there assist on that.
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Old August 27, 2014, 03:01 PM   #3
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Thanks Wogpotter
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Old August 27, 2014, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
. I worry about getting pulled over and interpreting the laws incorrectly
Why? Do you regularly get pulled over for traffic infractions? Follow the law, but if you are a regular person driving normally, they aren't going to just pull you over because they have some snooping device that shows you have a gun in the car, so why worry about that?
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Old August 27, 2014, 09:29 PM   #5
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Been a long time since I lived there but a couple of things from when I was there.

They will consider a single cartridge loaded in a magazine or speed loader or clip etc a loaded firearm.

You may only be traveling to and from legal uses. Home and range, home and gunsmith etc. technically it used to be illegal to stop anywhere in between like for gas, or potty etc.

The DA years ago was a real anti piece of work.

Just be warned it's not jersey but it's a helluva long way from TN.
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Old August 28, 2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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They will consider a single cartridge loaded in a magazine or speed loader or clip etc a loaded firearm.
Not a legal problem as long as its stored separately.

The point here is storage position. I take loaded magazines & speedloaders regularly to ranges & shoot with LEO's. Not one has ever said anything about them as long as they are separated from the actual firearm.

Quote:
You may only be traveling to and from legal uses. Home and range, home and gunsmith etc. technically it used to be illegal to stop anywhere in between like for gas, or potty etc.
Its important to remember that in MD there are two categories of firearms, Regulated & Non Regulated. There are different rules for the two types so its important to understand which type you are transporting.

Still technically true, about stopping, but for regulated arms. Non regulated this does not apply. You can (in theory) open carry a non-regulated firearm legally.

Regarding getting stopped. Its possible to get stopped for a number of everyday reasons (light out you didn't know about Etc.) so its smart to be legal in detail. Its also very different in "Balmer" & the *ahem, civilized* part of the state than somewhere like Central or Western MD which is a very different environment legally.
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Old August 28, 2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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Handgunlaw.us has some information that you might find useful. Here's the Maryland pdf: http://handgunlaw.us/states/maryland.pdf
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Old August 29, 2014, 05:50 PM   #8
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Also, exercise your right to remain silent if pulled over. You are under no obligation to answer any questions, just to present your DL, registration, and proof of insurance. And refusing to answer questions about what you may or may not have in the car is not probable cause to detain or search you. Doesn't hurt to record the encounter either if they decide to do an illegal search.
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Old August 30, 2014, 07:57 AM   #9
wogpotter
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Politely, but firmly of course.
Whatever you do don't get into a verbal brawl with the officer, you WILL lose.
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Old August 30, 2014, 08:41 AM   #10
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Absolutely be polite and calm.
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Old August 30, 2014, 11:25 PM   #11
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The Firearms Owner's protection Act, a federal law, is supposed to protect you when traveling in ANY state, but some jurisdictions, particularly on the east coast, don't seem to care. Under FOPA, it is legal to travel with an unloaded firearm in a locked container. AFAIK, the FOPA does not require ammo to be in a separate container, but as others have noted, apparently Md disagrees. I don't have a link right off, but the following is a TRUE story: a florida man, his wife and children were returning to Florida after visiting relatives in NJ. After exiting a tunnel , they were followed by a Md. trooper of some type who eventually pulled the vehicle over, allegedly for "speeding." it appears that the officer had run the plates while trailing this Florida vehicle and determined that the driver had a CCW. The FIRT thing the officer did when he got to the driver's side window was to demand where the weapon was. It was actually in Florida in a safe, but the officer didn't believe it, called in back up, and searched the vehicle. All of this was perfectly illegal, but that didn't seem to matter.

D.C. is a world of its own, and a world of hurt. If you pass through there, make sure EVERYTHING is in a locked container, and refuse consent to ANY search, no matter how many threats the office makes. Under D.C. law, a gun includes not just the gun, but any ammunition, or component of ammunition, INCLUDING spent casings. if you have any of these items in the District, you have violated the city codes and are subject to arrest, unless it just so happens that the firearm is registered in the City, or the ammunition or components will fit in a firearm registered in the City. Kind of unlikely if you live in another state. A recent trial court decision held that the City's ban on concealed or open carry of firearms is unconstitutional, but that decision has been stayed for 90 days to allow the City to pass a compliant carry law. (the city has already vowed to appeal.) The rational of the case should apply to carrying firearms in locked containers, since the City cannot and should not be allowed not override federal law. Then again, New York City has been doing it for years and getting away with it unless you are willing to spend thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to get the case dismissed.
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Old September 1, 2014, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
to Florida after visiting relatives in NJ. After exiting a tunnel , they were followed by a Md. trooper of some type who eventually pulled the vehicle over, allegedly for "speeding." it appears that the officer had run the plates while trailing this Florida vehicle and determined that the driver had a CCW.
Not true at all - FL CWPs are NOT tied to your DL or anything else - they are issued by the Ag Commissioner's office
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Old September 2, 2014, 04:13 PM   #13
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If it's a concern you could always do what I do: Call a MD Trooper and get an answer (as well as their name and badge number). Follow their directions and keep their info handy if anything comes up.

Email is better if you have the time, of course, since it's easier to verify.
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Old September 2, 2014, 04:50 PM   #14
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i wouldn't put any trust in legal advice from a police officer. they aren't lawyers.
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Old September 3, 2014, 08:36 AM   #15
wogpotter
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Call a MD Trooper and get an answer
Call 10 of them you'll get 10 answers, all different.
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Old September 4, 2014, 10:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
D.C. is a world of its own, and a world of hurt. If you pass through there, make sure EVERYTHING is in a locked container, and refuse consent to ANY search, no matter how many threats the office makes. Under D.C. law, a gun includes not just the gun, but any ammunition, or component of ammunition, INCLUDING spent casings. if you have any of these items in the District, you have violated the city codes and are subject to arrest, unless it just so happens that the firearm is registered in the City, or the ammunition or components will fit in a firearm registered in the City.
1) Not quite a world of its own. In Massachusetts spent casing are also "ammunition." And they don't constitute a "gun" but ammunition which are different laws and penalties.
2) the "fit in a firearm registered in the city" was eliminated a few years ago. If you have a .22 registere, d you can have 223, 45, whatever.

3) DC is covered by FOPA. Like a number of jurisdictions you may still get arrested but this has only happened with people not directly traveling through. Yes it is injust for DC to arrest people with ammo while visiting the Washington monument, etc, but they are obviously not doing what FOPA envisions if they are stopping to visit federal museums.

There are no clean case of arrests for simply traveling directly through DC with a locked in trunk or locked case in rear of SUV unloaded firearm.

So the answer is why bother given our strict regulations in DC. But let's also not exaggerate them with incorrect information either. DC was neither the first US jurisdiction to define nor prosecute possession of constituent parts of ammo that can be assembled as "ammunition." Massachusetts was.
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