Maryland Laws - On your own property


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boxcab
June 20, 2006, 09:26 PM
Looking for some help concerning MD gun laws.

Can I open carry in my own yard? If I were to open carry while mowing the lawn/triming the roses/playing with the kids, would I be legal?

Thanks for any help,

-Boxcab

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Byron Quick
June 20, 2006, 09:35 PM
boxcab,

Most state governments have an official website. The website often contains the code for the state and a link to the state Attorney General's website.

There are only three sources for answers to your question that I would trust: 1)Reading the Maryland State Code for myself-the website should be searchable, 2) Have a Maryland attorney, knowledgeable of state firearms laws tell me, or 3) Write a letter to the state Attorney General asking him.

For instance, I have never heard of a state where open or concealed carry on your own property is prohibited...but what if I haven't heard of the Maryland law? And you do it. And whoever told you it was A-OK was in error?

I'd look for a website with the state code. If I found a statute which seemed to allow carry on my property but seemed to be the least bit ambiguous...I'd write the attorney general. If he sent me back a letter saying it was A-OK...I'd keep the letter to show any police officers who show up ignorant of the law.

pcf
June 20, 2006, 10:05 PM
Where in Maryland?

If your in Montgomery, Howard, Baltimore (Baltimore city), Anne Arundel, or Prince George's County your inviting a world of trouble if you open carry on your property, legal or not. Outside of that depends on the location, out west or on the eastern shore I doubt anyone would bat an eye. If you're in a "blissninnyfied" area don't make yourself a martyr.

Spot77
June 20, 2006, 10:23 PM
Anne Arundel, or Prince George's County

Why would you say Anne Arundel County?Anne Arundel is one of the most conservative counties in the state. Even our Democrat Legislators are pro-gun (Jimeno, Cadden, Astle to name a few) I frequently carried on my property before moving last year. Besides, it IS perfectly legal, although your point about raising ire with the blissninnies is well taken.

I suspect that if your neighbors complained loudly enough, the wrong police officer might try to charge you with something; disturbing the peace or some other nonsense.

However, you MAY carry on your own property as you see fit, although perhaps packing in an IWB or pocket would probably be better. Besides, why advertise that you have guns? The bad guys will just show up at your house when they know you're not hme.

boxcab
June 20, 2006, 10:50 PM
Yeah, I have looked, and finally found the laws addressing this...

From http://www.lcav.org/states/maryland.asp

§ 4-203.
(a) (1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a person may not:
(i) wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person;
(ii) wear, carry, or knowingly transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, in a vehicle traveling on a road or parking lot generally used by the public, highway, waterway, or airway of the State;
(iii) violate item (i) or (ii) of this paragraph while on public school property in the State; or
(iv) violate item (i) or (ii) of this paragraph with the deliberate purpose of injuring or killing another person.
(2) There is a rebuttable presumption that a person who transports a handgun under paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection transports the handgun knowingly.
(b) This section does not prohibit:
(1) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person who is on active assignment engaged in law enforcement, is authorized at the time and under the circumstances to wear, carry, or transport the handgun as part of the person's official equipment, and is:
(i) a law enforcement official of the United States, the State, or a county or city of the State;
(ii) a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the National Guard on duty or traveling to or from duty;
(iii) a law enforcement official of another state or subdivision of another state temporarily in this State on official business;
(iv) a correctional officer or warden of a correctional facility in the State;
(v) a sheriff or full-time assistant or deputy sheriff of the State; or
(vi) a temporary or part-time sheriff's deputy;
(2) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person to whom a permit to wear, carry, or transport the handgun has been issued under Title 5, Subtitle 3 of the Public Safety Article;
(3) the carrying of a handgun on the person or in a vehicle while the person is transporting the handgun to or from the place of legal purchase or sale, or to or from a bona fide repair shop, or between bona fide residences of the person, or between the bona fide residence and place of business of the person, if the business is operated and owned substantially by the person if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster;
(4) the wearing, carrying, or transporting by a person of a handgun used in connection with an organized military activity, a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, a Department of Natural Resources-sponsored firearms and hunter safety class, trapping, or a dog obedience training class or show, while the person is engaged in, on the way to, or returning from that activity if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster;
(5) the moving by a bona fide gun collector of part or all of the collector's gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster;
(6) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person on real estate that the person owns or leases or where the person resides or within the confines of a business establishment that the person owns or leases;
(7) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a supervisory employee:
(i) in the course of employment;
(ii) within the confines of the business establishment in which the supervisory employee is employed; and
(iii) when so authorized by the owner or manager of the business establishment; or
(8) the carrying or transporting of a signal pistol or other visual distress signal approved by the United States Coast Guard in a vessel on the waterways of the State or, if the signal pistol or other visual distress signal is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case, in a vehicle.
(c) (1) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to the penalties provided in this subsection.
(2) If the person has not previously been convicted under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title:
(i) except as provided in item (ii) of this paragraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 30 days and not exceeding 3 years or a fine of not less than $250 and not exceeding $2,500 or both; or
(ii) if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 90 days.
(3) (i) If the person has previously been convicted once under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title:
1. except as provided in item 2 of this subparagraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 1 year and not exceeding 10 years; or
2. if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 3 years and not exceeding 10 years.
(ii) The court may not impose less than the applicable minimum sentence provided under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
(4) (i) If the person has previously been convicted more than once under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title, or of any combination of these crimes:
1. except as provided in item (2) of this subparagraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 3 years and not exceeding 10 years; or
2. A. if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 10 years; or
B. if the person violates subsection (a)(1)(iv) of this section, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 10 years.
(ii) The court may not impose less than the applicable minimum sentence provided under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.

Highlighting is mine.

I live in AA county.

Yes, maybe I do want to disturb some blissninnies, :) they did not worry about my feelings when thay started taking away MY rights! Doing something perfectly legal is not what I consider going out of my way to cause trouble. I think I'll start this weekend. Getting a letter from the States Attorney General would be a good thing to have handy.


-Boxcab

Live Free Or Die
June 20, 2006, 11:09 PM
You can get a letter from the AG if you like -- and I understand why that approach was recommended. But the law reads pretty clearly in this case (at least to me), that you are explicitly not to be prevented from carrying on your property. Might want to print that section of the code out and stuff it in your back pocket while you're carrying in the lawn. ;)

SL4SI
June 20, 2006, 11:25 PM
If I am reading this properly am I able to carry while outside of my apt. but still on apt. grounds? The neighborhood I live in isn't exactly the best (PG County) and it would be nice to have something while I'm out watching my son play.

American By Blood
June 20, 2006, 11:29 PM
Boxcab-

If I remember the story correctly, Howard Fezell successfully defended a PGC man who was arrested for openly carrying in his own yard a while back.

The cops and DA apparently construed walking around one's own yard with a pistol in a shoulder rig as brandishing or some other such offense. Mr. Fezell helped the court to disagree.

See of you can find anything in the appropriate legal databases about the case.

MikeH
June 20, 2006, 11:36 PM
I'd strongly recommend getting a clarification from the AG's office. We're paying their salaries. Might as well put them to some useful work. :D

IIRC, MD state legislature has reserved to itself (and denied to county and local governments) the right to regulate possession, sale, carry and transportation of firearms. That means counties and cities cannot enforce anti-gun ordinances by themselves. The same MD laws should apply to each and every county.

pcf
June 21, 2006, 12:23 AM
Why would you say Anne Arundel County?Anne Arundel is one of the most conservative counties in the state. Even our Democrat Legislators are pro-gun (Jimeno, Cadden, Astle to name a few) I frequently carried on my property before moving last year. Besides, it IS perfectly legal, although your point about raising ire with the blissninnies is well taken.

I'm in AA county too, in the last couple of years the attitudes, IMO, have become more and more "blissninnyish", I think it has something to do with home prices and all the people the NSA is bringing in. It's certainly not the people that have been in AA county for a while, it's the people that are showing up, they can't afford to live in Howard or Montgomery County so they try to take over the nicest place they can find.......... Anne Arundel County Police are good guys, pretty down to earth, you can have a normal conversation with them.

Spot77
June 21, 2006, 08:38 AM
am I able to carry while outside of my apt. but still on apt. grounds?

While you may be leasing the apartment, and thus have an interest in the common areas of the property (such as stairwells and parking lots) every other person in the complex has those same interests and I don't think they'll embrace your philosophy of self defense.


And many apartment complexes deal with this in your leasing contract explicitly.


pcf: I see that your in Laurel. Things are a bit different down that way. Too much PG influence spilling over.

Capital Punishment
June 21, 2006, 10:29 AM
If your in Montgomery, Howard, Baltimore (Baltimore city), Anne Arundel, or Prince George's County your inviting a world of trouble if you open carry on your property, legal or not. Outside of that depends on the location, out west or on the eastern shore I doubt anyone would bat an eye. If you're in a "blissninnyfied" area don't make yourself a martyr.

If its legal (which it is), then open carry on your property all you want. It doesnt matter if someone likes it or not, its tough **** for them because youre perfectly legal. :confused:

I always hear everyone say, "well, open carry is legal here but no one open carrys and you really shouldnt!!" Well if its legal who the hell cares? Open carry!!!

02

ApexinM3
June 21, 2006, 11:15 AM
Ah, this is a subject I ALL too familiar with.

Boxcab, I'd be careful.

Back in '95, I was arrested for defending myself at my parents house. I used my (then fathers) USP after being followed back to my house by no less than 4 car loads of people bent on pounding me in the ground (long story, WOB to explain here). As a legal resident/owner of the property, you are technically within the law (Anotated Code of Maryland Article 134, section B if memory serves correctly).

I know that I got royally screwed by the courts after my situation on my parents property, so given the anti-gun disposition of MD I wouldn't tempt fate. Trust me when I say you can get the shaft in a big way. Your situation may be a bit different as I was a minor at the time.

Hopefully things have changed since '95, but given my mistrust of MD judicial system, if it was me I wouldn't do it. IANAL, though...

ApexinM3
June 21, 2006, 11:30 AM
...have become more and more "blissninnyish"

I have lived in AA county for 29 years, and can attest to this. All the yuppies/new money/left-winger college grads that can't afford Howard & Montgomery counties are spilling over here.

As for the local police officers here, they are a pretty cool bunch, I've always gotten along with them. Never had any problems with the county cops, though.

K-Romulus
June 21, 2006, 11:53 AM
I don't know if your county has a local law on the following (like Montgomery County does), but the MD preemption law seems* to allow localities to do what they want with regard to firearms within 100 yards of certain places:

Criminal Law (Refs & Annos)

Title 4. Weapon Crimes

Subtitle 2. Handguns

§ 4-209. Regulation of weapons and ammunition

State preemption
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the State preempts the right of a county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district to regulate the purchase, sale, taxation, transfer, manufacture, repair, ownership, possession, and transportation of:

(1) a handgun, rifle, or shotgun; and

(2) ammunition for and components of a handgun, rifle, or shotgun.

Exceptions

(b)(1) A county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district may regulate the purchase, sale, transfer, ownership, possession, and transportation of the items listed in subsection (a) of this section:

(i) with respect to minors;

(ii) with respect to law enforcement officials of the subdivision; and

(iii) except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, within 100 yards of or in a park, church, school, public building, and other place of public assembly.

(2) A county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district may not prohibit the teaching of or training in firearms safety, or other educational or sporting use of the items listed in subsection (a) of this section.

Preexisting local laws

(c) To the extent that a local law does not create an inconsistency with this section or expand existing regulatory control, a county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district may exercise its existing authority to amend any local law that existed on or before December 31, 1984.

Discharge of firearms

(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, in accordance with law, a county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district may regulate the discharge of handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

(2) A county, municipal corporation, or special taxing district may not prohibit the discharge of firearms at established ranges.


Here is the MoCo Code:

Sec. 57-11. Firearms in or near places of public assembly.
(a) A person must not sell, transfer, possess, or transport a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, or ammunition for these firearms, in or within 100 yards of a place of public assembly.

(b) This section does not:

(1) prohibit the teaching of firearms safety or other educational or sporting use in the areas described in subsection (a);

(2) apply to a law enforcement officer, or a security guard licensed to carry the firearm;

(3) apply to the possession of a firearm or ammunition in the person’s own home;

(4) apply to the possession of one firearm, and ammunition for the firearm, at a business by either the owner or one authorized employee of the business;

(5) apply to the possession of a handgun by a person who has received a permit to carry the handgun under State law; or

(6) apply to separate ammunition or an unloaded firearm:

(A) transported in an enclosed case or in a locked firearms rack on a motor vehicle; or

(B) being surrendered in connection with a gun turn-in or similar program approved by a law enforcement agency.

So, we have two different statutes that need to be reconciled:

1) state law says you have the right to have your firearms on your property,
and
2) state firearms law preempts local law, except in certain situations.

Like ApexinM3 said, I would not want to be the test case for this one. . . until then,
"concealed means concealed"(!) :what:

(*"seems": because I am not a MD lawyer, I only call it as I see it.)

boxcab
June 21, 2006, 09:44 PM
Do we create "Blissninnies"?

Do gun owners who go out of their way to not offend a "Blissninnie", contribute to their ignorance?

By concealing the fact we have guns, do our local "Blissninnies" feel comforted that they live in a 'gun free' area?

How could it be "disturbing the peace", if it is an every day occurance?

By conceal carrying do we then cause the "Blissninnies" to over react when they do see a gun?

Should we not be making our guns visible, a common occurrence, and an every day experience? Should we not be desensitizing the population? Get our camel’s nose under their tent?

By hiding our guns, do we not look like criminals trying to hide our illegal activities from those who do not know better?

By not showing the "Blissninnies" that everyone who has a gun is NOT a lunatic ready to shoot up the local elementary school, are we doing a dis-service to the general population?

I believe that acting in a defensive manner has put the "Blissninnies", by defalt, on the offensive. We have done it to ourselves.

I will be open carring while mowing my lawn/watching the kids this weekend. I will report if any one complains.

-Boxcab

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