Legal Information: Maryland

State Gun Laws

October 18, 2022

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Maryland state law says that a person cannot have or buy a gun if s/he:

  1. has been convicted of a “disqualifying crime;”1
  2. has been convicted of certain drug-related offenses or firearms-related offenses in Maryland or elsewhere, which are listed in section 5-133(c)(1)(ii) of the Maryland Criminal Code;2
  3. has been convicted of a “crime of violence” in Maryland or elsewhere. “Crimes of violence” include any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of them:
    • abduction;
    • arson in the first degree;
    • assault in the first or second degree;
    • burglary in the first, second, or third degree;
    • carjacking and armed carjacking;
    • escape in the first degree;
    • kidnapping;
    • voluntary manslaughter;
    • maiming;
    • mayhem;
    • murder in the first or second degree;
    • rape in the first or second degree;
    • robbery;
    • robbery with a dangerous weapon;
    • sexual offense in the first, second, or third degree;
    • home invasion;
    • felony sex trafficking;
    • forced marriage; and
    • assault with intent to commit any of the above crimes or a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;3
  4. has been convicted of a violation classified as a common law crime and was sentenced to prison for more than two years;
  5. is under the age of 30 and s/he has been found “delinquent” by a juvenile court for an act that would be a disqualifying crime if committed by an adult;
  6. is a fugitive from justice;
  7. has been found guilty of driving while intoxicated three times, one of which must have been within the last year;
  8. is a drug addict;
  9. has a mental disorder and has a history of violent behavior against a person;
  10. has been found to be “incompetent to stand trial” or “not criminally responsible;”
  11. has been voluntarily admitted to a mental facility for more than 30 consecutive days or has been involuntarily committed to a facility for any period of time;
  12. is under the protection of a court-appointed guardian, unless the guardian is only because of a physical disability;
  13. is subject to an active civil protective order, although not an ex parte one. The order can be from a Maryland court, a court of another state, or a Native American tribe;4 or
  14. s/he is under age 21, although there are some exceptions, listed in section (d) of the statute.5

If any of these situations apply to the abuser, it may be illegal for him/her to have a gun. Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, may restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

1 MD Code, Public Safety §§ 5-133(b)(1); 5-101(b-1)
2 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-133(c)(1)(ii)
3 MD Code, Public Safety §§ 5-133(c)(1)(i); 5-101(c)
4 MD Code, Public Safety §§ 5-133(b); 5-101(l)
5 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-133(d)

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