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Transporting A Firearm THROUGH Maryland

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  • Transporting A Firearm THROUGH Maryland


    I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and possess a valid concealed-carry permit. I am planning on going on a trip to Ohio and possibly up through part Michigan, but must pass through Maryland (unless I really want to go through the boondocks of Virginia & West Virginia). I understand that MD is one of the most anti-2nd Amendment states in the entire nation and want to avoid trouble at all costs. I am aware that open-carry is not allowed and that they do not recognize or reciprocate with Virginia when it comes to gun permits.

    Am I going to be totally within my LEGAL rights if I have a firearm in the TRUNK of my car (and out of plain sight) and merely drive through your state (probably without stopping or perhaps just for food/fuel)? I am not worried too much about Ohio, West Virginia or even Michigan; but MD is cause for concern.

    In those states (which apparently recognize my VA carry permit), I would likely have the firearm holstered, but nearby and within my 'wingspan'. I am a law-abiding citizen and wish to stay that way.

    THANKS, Maryland law enforcement officers, for any insight you might have on this issue. I promise to just 'pass through' peacefully. :-)

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

  • #2
    Technically, you would need to be able to demonstrate that you were enroute to a gun range, gunsmith, your place of business, and so forth. Of course, most people have no way to demonstrate where they intended to go.

    To be safe, lock your unloaded gun in your trunk, preferably in a locked container. Keep ammunition separate from the weapon, again preferably in a locked container. Your transit through the People's Republic is protected by the Firearms Owner Protection Act.
    John from Maryland

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    • #3

      People's Republic. LOL!

      That it itself says enough. Not sure if I will have a "locked" container, but I'll definitely have the gun UNLOADED and the ammunition in another box. Can't see how I would be breaking a law if it is not in my 'wing span' and I cannot do anything with it unless I get out of the car and open the trunk (not a hatchback).

      Better safe than sorry, eh? THANKS for the reply!!

      The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

      The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

      ------------------------------------------------

      "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

      Comment


      • #4
        Research Firearm Owners Protection Act.

        My limited understanding is you can transport from state to state under FOPA as long as the firearm is stored unloaded, in the trunk or other locked container out of reach of the driver, and separated from the ammo.

        http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/artic...portation.aspx

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        • #5
          A cheap gun case is $9.99 and two keyed-masterlocks is $5.99. Is saving $20 worth the headache? I got a $9.99 gun case and two master locks with a separate key for each lock. Worth every penny.

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          • #6
            You'd probably be fine simply putting your unloaded pistol in the trunk, separate from ammunition. My recommendation of the locked container assumes the strictest possible interpretation of the law by an officer unfamiliar with the FOPA.
            John from Maryland

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            • #7
              Most of these are correct. It must be in a locked container, in the trunk, or furtherest from the point of the drivers seat (in the back of a van) unloaded, separate. If you are traveling through then that should be fine, I don't see that being an issue, as you will be traveling on the interstate.

              It all depends on the officer you come across to be honest with you. There are cops who are traffic cops and could care less what your hauling, and just dish out traffic citations to you provided you committed a violation, and then there are cops who could care less about the traffic violation and are going to interview, pry, and try to find their way into a vehicle search. If you are a former deputy sheriff then you know this. It also depends on the officer that you come across. Some are very reasonable and aren't out to simply seize and take everything they find, others are going to take your firearms and arrest you because it counts as an arrest for them. Some officers might let you continue on your travels and may have knowledge of gun laws and rules etc.

              There are alot of people who complain about Maryland cops and gun laws etc. What I can tell you is that most police officers simply aren't taught the ins and outs of gun laws in many states, and most have no clue as to what federal gun laws say. I know enough about gun laws in Maryland, DC, and Va, and I work as a LEO, but I can't tell you every single case law. For example, theres case law in Maryland that says if your carrying a handgun in a backpack and ammunition separate in locked containers on a motorcycle its not a violation, but if you possess the same backpack on a mass transit bus, you could earn yourself a handgun on person charge. Most cops in Maryland wouldn't be able to tell you things like that. Most cops in Maryland have no idea what paperwork is associated with possessing a silencer, etc. Gun law has become like commercial motor vehicle law in many ways because there are new ones made, case laws made, and simply little to no training given on the issues to keep up with it all. Its gotten so bad that the MSP has set up a number you can call to ask gun law questions to for police officers in the state. The reason being is because gun law is so complicated, that people literally have to call a hotline to figure out what it is they have. Theres even testimony from Doug Gansler that says you can open carry in Maryland although I wouldn't suggest doing so, and another video of the Wicomico County Sheriff promising a fight and refusing to enforce state gun laws there. Im not sure I would trust either of these sources as ones you could trust not to arrest you for committing a violation.

              I don't think all of the police in Maryland are anti gun or anti 2A. There are a good portion of officers who've lived in and do live in other states, and a good portion of Maryland residents who are opposed to the current status quo of gun laws in Maryland to include many FOP's, sheriffs, and citizens who've testified at repeatedly against the restrictions in Annapolis. Sadly, Annapolis is controlled by PG, MoCo, and Baltimore City, and every other county in the state is forced to submit and send their tax money to pay for these areas that are draining the state of its resources and revenue.

              While the vast majority of citizens are good law abiding citizens, there are a good portion of people who are committing violations because they are out doing dirt. Some of the things that i've come across but are not limited to, security guards openly carrying a airsoft gun to pretend they have a real gun, and wearing badges/uniforms that are similiar to police uniforms to portray a presence. Security guards wearing black vests that say "Agent" and driving crown vics with white and green lights, or sometimes even blue/red lights. I've seen security guards roaming off of their property in violations of their handgun permits sometimes to go get food, other times to go on "patrol" and start stuff with the local dirtbags. One jurisdiction caught a guy driving around in a look a like crown vic police car wearing black BDU's, a black trench coat, stolen tags on his car, and a trunk full of ammunition with an AR-15 at 3AM. I wonder where he was headed? The scumbags that are doing shady stuff in Maryland are the same ones who would be considered "suspicious" with firearms in another state. If a deputy sheriff or trooper in Virginia didn't find someone who had a retired police car tricked out with white/green lights, a black vest that says "Agent", a stun gun, and an airsoft or real firearm, suspicious then perhaps they need to go back through retraining. These are the types who aren't out to carry a firearm for personal protection, but obviously have some sort of ill will or mental issue, and probably couldn't get hired as a cop anywhere because they failed the psych or something in their background that disqualifies them but they still feel they need to portray some sort of image, and they are most likely to cause some sort of criminal issue at some point in their travels.

              Then theres the people i've come across that I really wonder about. One guy was given a handgun permit by MSP, he was a retired LEO, and someone called on him. Everything checked out, but he was so old, that he couldn't even reload his gun or re holster the weapon. You ask why did we reload it/reholster for him? Because in the area he was in, leaving him unarmed, the dirtbags would have easily come and taken his unloaded gun and fled. His parkinsons disease was so bad (he had really bad shakes in his hand) that he certainly would have had a very difficult time hitting a target holding that weapon. I wouldn't trust him to take a hostage shot on me. Nevertheless he has a valid permit and I told him if he was in Virginia its likely there would have been no issue with his shirt coming up over his holster because open carry is legal there.

              Overall though, it depends on the officer you come across. I haven't arrested every gun violation that i've found, because each situation is different. There is a big difference between the fake police out doing robberies with a gun and their "gear" and a citizen who's making an effort to obey the law and driving to the range, or wherever. I've gotten into arguments with other officers over what they can and cannot do as far as gun law is concerned in Maryland, officers making an attempt to arrest a person for open carrying on their private property, officers trying to arrest someone in their house for handgun on person and so forth. I would hope that someday it changes but not likely anytime soon.

              The issues that have taken place so far with Maryland cops like the florida man who was searched on the interstate for a firearm, or MDTA cop that detained someone for open carrying in Virginia, is no different than hearing stories of Fairfax County PD arresting a man for open carry, because the cop grew up as a citizen of New Jersey and wasn't fully aware of the laws in the Commonwealth, or battles over open carry with Alexandria City/Virginia Beach PD. I hope this dispels some of the rumors or issues that people have in regards to Maryland cops and 2A issues. Its hard to blame the police officer for doing something thats not in line when they weren't trained on the issue in the first place. The first thing that often gets cut in budgets is training, and most agencies throughout the United States could care less what took place as long as "guns money and drugs" were seized from the streets. Nevermind the fact that the majority of these cases are thrown out in court or not prosecuted.

              I hope this provides some insight as to what you need to do when traveling through Maryland with a firearm.

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