As for guns, Maryland state regulations are stricter on firearm use and ownership than the broader federal guidelines.
For example, assault weapons are outright banned in Maryland. These weapons include AK-47s, AR-15s, assault style semiautomatic or automatic rifles. Having these at any time would generally mean a criminal possession charge.
Also, handguns require a permit to own, carry, and/or conceal in Maryland, while hunting rifles and shotguns generally do not. These guns fall into a more grey area of the law, as legal possession depends on circumstance.
Does Having a “Weapon” Automatically Count for Criminal Possession of a Weapon Charges?
Nope – just having a weapon that is listed as “dangerous” does not mean you are automatically criminally possessing it, if it is not concealed or otherwise being carried with the intent to harm someone.
For example, Marylanders might own nunchucks, but only for use during martial arts training or for display. (Your friend’s stand holding ancient battle swords in his mancave would also be legal.)
Marylanders who may not be found holding or otherwise owning a gun include those:
Convicted of a felony;
Fleeing from justice;
Considered a “habitual drunkard;”
Addicted to drugs or otherwise a known habitual drug user;
Involuntarily committed for a mental disorder; or
With an active protective order issued against them.
You can also get on the “banned for guns” list if you’re currently undergoing a protective order case due to domestic violence. In that situation, you must turn over any weapons/guns you possess to authorities until the order ends.
When Can You Legally Possess Guns or Dangerous Weapons In Maryland?