MD Handgun Transport on a Motorcycle


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BootBuckle
July 15, 2014, 02:05 PM
Can anyone confirm that I will not be committing a felony if I transport a handgun from my LGS to my residence while riding a motorcycle? I plan on having the gun locked in the factory-provided case, which I plan to carry in my backpack.

I'm new to the forum--I'll introduce myself properly once I take possession of my new handgun on August 4th. I want to include pictures in my intro thread :cool:. Thanks for the input!

-Cal

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Darkhorse
July 15, 2014, 02:35 PM
According to NRA-ILA, you're good:

http://nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/maryland.aspx

The key element is traveling from place of purchase to your home.

Being unloaded in a locked case is essential also.

Ramone
July 15, 2014, 02:40 PM
I *believe* you are OK, as per section b, paragraph 3 found here:

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gcr&section=4-203&ext=html&session=2014RS&tab=subject5

IANAL

however, unloaded, locked case in backpack, seems to meet the requirements of the law.

dprice3844444
July 15, 2014, 03:15 PM
tie wrap the case handle,too. take a cell picture once it's sealed,just in case

aarondhgraham
July 15, 2014, 04:05 PM
A person may transport a handgun if they can demonstrate that the handgun is being carried, worn or transported:

Then there were several scenarios such as to a target range and suchlike.

So how would one "demonstrate" that you were going to the range?,,,
This seems like it was specifically written in a vague manner,,,
It would allow an irate cop way too much leeway.

I had no idea that Maryland was this restrictive,,,
No wonder Beretta is moving some assets out of state.

One more border I will never cross.

Aarond

.

BootBuckle
July 15, 2014, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the input, all.

Jim K
July 15, 2014, 10:02 PM
Yes, the MD law is a bit vague, but as long as the handgun is unloaded and out of the reach of the driver/rider, there should be no problem. A locked case is further insurance.

As to "taking it to a range", that includes about any kind of formal or informal "target" shooting and if a person says he/she is taking the gun out for "plinking", it would be up to the state to prove otherwise. In practice, unless the person drives in a way to attract attention, then does something to call an officer's attention to the gun, there just isn't a problem.

If you drive 95 mph, weaving in and out of traffic while waving the gun around and pointing it at police cars while passing them, you might expect trouble.

Jim

Drail
July 16, 2014, 02:13 AM
MD. allows motorcycles?

swinokur
July 16, 2014, 07:07 AM
The MD transportation statute (4-203) makes no mention of the firearm needing to being out of reach. It requires the firearm be unloaded and in an enclosed case or holster.

MD 4-203

(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;

AG opinion on what an enclosed holster is

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=9493943&postcount=4

Loaded mags are legal if not in the firearm

IANAL

NormH3
July 16, 2014, 07:23 AM
Might consider www.mdshooters.com if you haven't already

Jim K
July 16, 2014, 12:36 PM
"The MD transportation statute (4-203) makes no mention of the firearm needing to being out of reach. It requires the firearm be unloaded and in an enclosed case or holster."

True, but the AG letter you show interprets the purpose of the law as being to "deny easy access", and the police read that as "out of reach" of driver and passengers.

As usual, the judicial history is murky, but IMHO, it is best not to put oneself or one's lawyer into the position of arguing the law against an anti-gun prosecutor and before an anti-gun judge. Many thousands of Marylanders take handguns to the range or for informal shooting without being arrested or causing any concern at all. Discretion and erring on the side of caution should avoid any bad situations.

Jim

swinokur
July 16, 2014, 12:41 PM
Where do the police read that in an "enclosed holster or case" needs to be also out of reach? Mine sits next to me in my range bag in my car. I'm complying with the statute as written.

Do you have a cite for this?

Anything you might think LE interprets beyond what the statute says is supposition IMO.

The statute is quite clear. "Enclosed case or holster."

Nothing about out of reach or driver or passengers. nothing.

Deltaboy
July 17, 2014, 09:24 AM
This what happens to a Southern State when it gets over ran with antigunners.

swinokur
July 17, 2014, 09:28 AM
truth

HankR
July 17, 2014, 05:58 PM
As to "taking it to a range", that includes about any kind of formal or informal "target" shooting and if a person says he/she is taking the gun out for "plinking", it would be up to the state to prove otherwise. In practice, unless the person drives in a way to attract attention, then does something to call an officer's attention to the gun, there just isn't a problem.

That's a nice theory. In practice, MSP has been known to wait outside of shooting ranges, run your tag to get your address, then arrest you if you deviate in the slightest on your way home. Fast food drive through, get fuel in your vehicle, take a route that they don't deem to be the most direct route? Your guns are confiscated, and counted in the election year counts of "criminal guns" that they got "off the street". This is much easier and safer than taking guns away from actual criminals and the legal expenses to try to get your guns back would run to much more than the guns were worth.

The "most direct route" practice was particularly problematic as the shorter line, country road path could easily take twice as long as driving "the long way" on the interstates. No matter which way you went, you could get nailed for either not taking the shortest or for not taking the quickest route.

I have not been following MD lately, but this was very common and well documented when I used to shoot there (around the year 2000). I doubt if things have improved much.

ETA: OP's question is discussed here: http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=154944

Fleetman
July 17, 2014, 08:26 PM
I agree with what was said....tie-wrap the handle and take a cell picture of it.....never, EVER trust Maryland.

Hoppes Love Potion
July 17, 2014, 09:08 PM
I will have to leave my weapon at home on a 2000 mile trip because of a short stop in Maryland. All other areas are not only legal for transport but also for concealed carry.

swinokur
July 17, 2014, 09:45 PM
There is no language in the MD statute that requires you to go directly to or from a shooting event. Total BS

If you can provide a cite or an actual event, I'd like to see it.

I am a life long MD resident, and very active on the MD Shooters forum. NEVER heard of MSP doing what is claimed in this thread about MSP following anyone to enforce a non existent portion of the MD transportation statute.

HankR
July 18, 2014, 02:28 PM
With any due respect, just because you didn't read about it on MDShooters doesn't mean it didn't happen. Maybe things have changed, and maybe this hasn't happened recently, but this was not uncommon when Paris Glendening and Papa Joe Curran were running things, around the year 2000 or a little before. I have no idea who is running that monkey house these days, as I ignore blue-state politics other than what I see on the national news.

The "direct route" interpretation was widely discussed at the time, and I am still in occasional contact with one gentleman who was stopped for this. I will ask if anything more has come of his case in the last 15 or so years. Last I heard he did not want to be the test case, and was loosing only the guns in the car at the time and not any firearm rights. We were all aware of the fact that the law did not state that one must travel "directly". The MSP were interpreting it that once you deviated from the direct route, you were no longer going to/from the range but were now on another trip. Their spin was that if they interpreted otherwise a guy could keep a gun in his trunk just about all the time and use excuses like "Yeah, I'm going to the range after work".

swinokur
July 18, 2014, 02:37 PM
So I'll take that as no cite. regardless of my belonging to Md Shooters.

BootBuckle
July 21, 2014, 02:37 PM
From http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/maryland.aspx (NRA Institute for Legislative Action)

"CARRYING AND TRANSPORTATION IN VEHICLES

It is unlawful for any person without a permit to wear or carry a handgun, openly or concealed, upon or about his person. It is also unlawful for any person to knowingly transport a handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, highways, waterways or airways, or upon roads or parking lots generally used by the public. This does not apply to any person wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun within the confines of real estate owned or leased by him, or on which he resides, or within the confines of a business establishment owned or leased by him.

Rifles and shotguns being transported in motor vehicles must be unloaded.

A person may transport a handgun if they can demonstrate that the handgun is being carried, worn or transported:

-To or from a place of legal purchase or sale, or repair shop;
-Between a person’s bona fide residences, or between his residence and place of business, if the business is operated and substantially owned by that person;
-While engaged in, or traveling to and from a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, trapping, or dog obedience training class or show; or
-By a bona fide gun collector who is moving any part or all of his gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition.

During transportation to and from the above places the handgun must be unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or enclosed holster. An additional penalty is provided for any person convicted of unlawfully wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun, if his deliberate purpose was to injure or kill another person."

swinokur
July 21, 2014, 02:41 PM
Gee, where is the portion that says you must go directly to and from these allowed places or MSP will arrest you?

BootBuckle
July 21, 2014, 03:04 PM
Ok, last post on the subject. I see your point, but I don't believe the MSP do...

CRIMINAL LAW
TITLE 4. WEAPON CRIMES
SUBTITLE 2. HANDGUNS

Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. 4-203 (2014)

4-203. Wearing, carrying, or transporting handgun


(a) Prohibited. --

(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) Exceptions. -- This section does not prohibit:

(1) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person who 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, in compliance with any limitations imposed under 5-307 of the Public Safety Article, 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;

(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; or

(9) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person who is carrying a court order requiring the surrender of the handgun, if:

(i) the handgun is unloaded;

(ii) the person has notified the law enforcement unit, barracks, or station that the handgun is being transported in accordance with the court order; and

(iii) the person transports the handgun directly to the law enforcement unit, barracks, or station.

(c) Penalty. --

(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.

HISTORY: An. Code 1957, art. 27, 36B(b), (c); 2002, ch. 26, 2; 2003, ch. 17; ch. 21, 1; 2004, ch. 25; 2005, ch. 482; 2010, ch. 712; 2011, ch. 65; 2013, ch. 427.

swinokur
July 21, 2014, 04:46 PM
I am very familiar with the transport statute in MD.Can you point to an incident involving MSP where an individual was stopped or arrested by MSP for stopping on the way from or to an allowed activity under 4-203? I can't. Not saying it hasn't happened but I've been a gun owner for a long time and lived in MD my entire life. Most laws are written to tell you what you cannot do, like VA OC for example. If it's not expressly prohibited, it's allowed. No prohibition on any kind of stopping in the statute, therefore legal.

I do it when necessary and never had an issue ever.

That's all that needs to be said on the subject IMO.

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