Firearms in MD - a few questions


December 24, 2003, 04:19 PM
I am down in MD visiting some friends and one of them seems to be in a semi-stalker situation. I have a few questions:

1) Is there a duty to retreat in your own house?
2) Is there any wait on a shotgun from Wal-Mart? What are the state laws regarding buying a shotgun?
3) What are the laws regarding buying a handgun? Waiting period? Special permits? I just want to know about purchasing. I know that CCW is just about imposible in MD, but having a handgun would allow my friends to carry in their apartment.

Thanks for the help! They are staying in a safe place for right now, but will need to return home soon.

I feel pretty naked coming to this state unarmed, and unable to carry here.

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December 24, 2003, 04:34 PM
1. From what I remember from the lovely state handgun safety are required to retreat, retreat, retreat until you can't retreat anymore. Even then you have to think twice before firing.......

2. Long guns are cash and carry pending the NICS check. Took all of 15 minutes when I bought my CZ452

3. Handguns are 7-10 day waiting period while paperwork goes to state police to be marked "not disapproved":rolleyes: No special permit, per se to purchase but like you say forget about CCW. The paperwork for handuns costs $10.00

December 24, 2003, 05:21 PM
"Assault rifles" (non-HBAR AR15s, AKs, FALs, etc) are regulated the same as handguns. Also, dont be suprised if the dealer tries to get you to pay $20+ instead of $10 for the background check for a handgun or black rifle. The one I bought my Ruger MkII from pulled that stunt on me at the last second (claiming the extra $10 were for the secretary that types most of the info on the form so that there are no problems with legibility).

Be prepared for an extremely limited selection of goods if you go to help them pick a handgun. Glock, Taurus, (possibly) Walther, HK and any 1911 fitted with the special locking mainspring housing are pretty much your only choices for fresh-from-the-factory "combat" handguns in the state unless you look at used guns or the depleted dealer's inventory of pre-lock pistols.

Not really relevant to the situation at hand, but assault pistols (Macs, SP-89, etc, its a really stupid list) are illegal unless registered before 1996 (at least I think thats the year).


December 24, 2003, 06:13 PM
Another thing to keep in mind while not much of a hassle is that when buying a pistol you will need to present a "training" card. The training basically amounts to sitting and watching a 15 minute video but it's still an extra hurdle in the way.

December 24, 2003, 06:18 PM
Retreat in your own home / apartment - No. Outside of the residence you have problems. My brother is an attorney in MD and there still is a right to defend yourself in your 'castle' if you feel your life is threatened. Doesn't matter if the perp is armed or not. Legally it would help if they were.

I'm sure our AG Curran would like you to believe you can't, but until he disarms all of the citizens we still have some rights. One of the highest violent crime rates in the country and he still gets elected. Welcome to Maryland.

December 24, 2003, 09:01 PM
See my "location". Nuff said.

December 24, 2003, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the responses. I was mostly concerned about the castle thing. I am only going to be in MD for a couple days, I just want to help my friends out if I can. Looks like a long arm to me.

December 26, 2003, 09:55 AM
two other quick notes:

Are you purchasing the shotgun or is your friend? There's probably more restrictions on an out of state purchaser than a Maryland resident (which is cash and carry with a quick NICS check)

Your friend should check their lease regarding firearms. There are a few situations in which firearm ownership is not possible. I can't remember the circumstances, but years ago a friend of mine had to sell his Glock because his lease agreement had some clause in it prohibiting firearms. Might've been some type of govenment housing thing....

Of course, who would've known he had it unless he needed it?:evil:

December 26, 2003, 11:55 AM
I'm not completely sure, but I remember (from the sign at outdoorworld) that if you live in PA or VA you can buy a long gun in MD. There's a few other neighboring states that are that way, but there's also a few where you can't buy a gun in MD (NJ is one iirc). I'm sure the dealer you go to would know.

December 27, 2003, 09:26 PM
All the correct answers have been posted, but some have some incorrect or incomplete info mixed in. So to put it all into one post:

1) Is there a duty to retreat in your own house?Some people get confused on this. MD operates under the "Castle Doctrine" meaning in your home you don't have to retreat. MD law does require that you retreat anywhere else before using deadly force and this confuses people since CCW is pretty much impossible (though not completely, so if there is a police report, court order, or some other documentation that your friend is in danger it can't hurt to apply).
2) Is there any wait on a shotgun from Wal-Mart? What are the state laws regarding buying a shotgun?Nothing special, only the fed instant check.
3) What are the laws regarding buying a handgun? Waiting period? Special permits?
No special permits (though all guns bought here now are actually "voluntarily" registered- the form to "voluntarily" register is required for the state police background check). In addition to the fed instant check there is a state police background check and a 7 (business) day waiting period. Some retailers will release your gun as soon as the waiting period is up, others cover themselves by waiting for the state police to return the form "not disapproved" which can take 7-12 days (I had one take nearly 2 weeks).

There is also a 30 day waiting period after you buy a handgun (or regulated long gun like an AR or AK) before you can buy another. You can start the paperwork on a new gun as soon as two weeks after buying (or the store can hold the paperwork and release it to the state police after 2 weeks) so you can buy one sooner, but you can't take delivery until 30 days after buying the last one. There are two expections to this. The first is if you register with the state police as a "collector"- basically if you fill out the form, you pay the fee (not sure how much, but not high) and you can pass a background check to buy a handgun you can get on their registry. The second, if you aren't a "collector" you can buy two guns as part of the same transaction at the same time and then you have a 60 day waiting period before you can buy another.

As already said, the biggest issue here is what is available. In MD only new handguns that have shell casings provided by the manufacturer are legal. Also, we have the built-in lock law which requires all handguns made after Jan 1, 2003 must have built-in locks which limits you to Taurus, S&W revolvers, HKs, Glocks, Bersas, Walther P22s, Cimarron with the "blackpowder" frame, and that might be it. Used, you just have to be sure it is on the state police "approved" list and if made post 1/1/03 the lock law is for all handguns not just new ones. Other than that, all handguns sold in MD must be sold with an external trigger lock (including guns with the built-in lock:banghead: ). Hmm, then there is the video you must watch, unless you are a police officer you are not qualified to buy a gun in MD even if you are a gun school instructor unless you have seen that 15 min video:rolleyes: .

Oh, almost forgot. If someone in MD wants a working handgun, they'd better hurry. MD has a "smart gun" law mandating that all guns sold in MD be "smart guns" once one workable model is made (unclear if they have to be in production, or if they have to be "reasonable" to be made). Taurus is now developing them and is promising a working prototype within a year.:cuss:

Dislcaimer: I am not a lawyer and I do not pretend to be one. I am just a MDer who is forced to live under this stuff and know what I have to know because I am a gun guy and I want to avoid getting into legal trouble. I am not reponsible for what anyone else does with this info (this should appease my lawyer aunt and a lawyer friend of mine- I hope).

December 29, 2003, 12:56 PM
Damnit. I hate being a Marylander sometimes. If I had another job, I would be leaving.

December 29, 2003, 03:01 PM
I'm glad I left MD. I live in PA now. So glad for the move, hell, just for the tax breaks, not to mention the gun laws. :cuss: Of course, I visit occasionally for the blue crabs. :neener:

December 30, 2003, 12:30 PM
Ditto on that. I live in WV now and would NEVER live in MD again. I do work there, and it frosts me that I can't carry between home and work (well, not legally anyway).

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