by Baltimore firearms possession attorney Brandon Mead
Maryland gun laws are among the strictest in the country, making it illegal to wear, carry, or transport a firearm in your vehicle without a Maryland-issued permit. On top of the already strict laws governing the possession and transport of firearms, Maryland laws are much more restrictive about who can possess a firearm on public school property. The restrictions for possession on school property are so stringent, they even apply to Maryland-licensed firearm holders.
A person convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm on school property can face up to three years in prison, or be required to pay substantial monetary fines or both. The state can up the ante depending on the type of firearm a person has in their possession.
For example, a person charged with possession of a handgun on school property may be subject to a longer prison sentence and higher fines, if convicted. (A handgun includes a pistol, revolver, a short–barreled shotgun, and a short–barreled rifle). For certain individuals, a conviction for this charge requires the state to impose a mandatory minimum prison sentence of up to 10 years. The law generally does not take the intent of the accused into consideration, so if you make the mistake of carrying your firearm onto Maryland public school property or have it in your vehicle while on the property, you could be charged with possession of a firearm on school property and be subject to enhanced penalties depending on the type of firearm.
Given the politicization of gun possession laws in the United States, in addition to fines and prison time, a conviction for this type of charge could also have collateral consequences such as job loss, being expelled from school, negative social stigma, or it may result in a violation of immigration laws for certain non-citizens that will subject them to entirely separate consequences under federal immigration laws.
What Should I Do if Charged with Firearms Possession on School Property in Maryland?
If you or your loved ones are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm on school property, contact the attorneys at Meadlaw for a consultation. Our attorneys have valuable legal experience defending individuals charged with firearms offenses, and we have a reputation of supporting our client’s needs as we work tirelessly to obtain the best results possible. Call us today for a free consultation, (410) 727-6400.