Maryland’s strict new gun control law is already here. The firearm bill passed in the last legislative session took effect on October 1, 2013. Considered as one of the nation’s toughest firearm regulations, many—especially gun sellers, gun owners, and gun buyers—are scrambling to understand the bill.
So what is it about? How will it affect new gun buyers or those who have not picked up their order before October 1? How about those who purchased before the effective date? Read on below and find out the answers.
A More Onerous Gun Possession Process
First of all, The Firearm Safety Act of 2013, which lawyers and judges refer to when they speak of the bill, bans the sale of 45 specific types of assault weapons. In addition to these banned firearms, the law also prohibits Maryland residents to purchase any magazines with more than 10 rounds. Those who already possess magazines with greater capacity before the deadline can keep them.
If you’re a would-be gun buyer, you can expect more stringent background checks. You will be obliged to submit a fingerprint and undergo gun safety training. These requirements apply to new guy buyers only. The Maryland Attorney General has made it clear that those who legally owned and purchased a handgun before October 1 will not be violating the law.
Some Exceptions to the New Gun Law
The state attorney general has recently explained that those who have legally owned or purchased a handgun before October will not be violating the law. Clearly, the law only applies to those who buy after the deadline.
There are also exceptions that apply to magazine possession. Basically, the law bans the manufacture, sale and transfer of magazines with a capacity of over 10 rounds. Active and retired law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies, however, are exempted from this rule.
What’s more, shotguns and hunting rifles will not be affected by the new law. So Maryland residents don’t need to worry about hunting guns, typical deer rifles and bolt-action rifles. They can buy a hunting rifle or shotgun without getting fingerprinted and licensed.
The New Standard Firearm Application
There’s been a huge backlog of firearm applications since the bill was passed. To apply, you have to fill out a form with your full name, address, date of birth and social security number. The 10-year license will cost you $50. Another $20 will be charged for a renewal license.
For first-time violators, there will be a fine not exceeding $500. Second-time or subsequent violators will be charged the same and imprisoned for no longer than 90 days.
In addition to the background checks, there are also mental health provisions included in the law. For instance, those involuntarily committed to mental institutions are barred from owning any regulated firearm and even a shotgun or rifle.
The new gun law can be quite difficult for laypeople to decipher. If you think it’s going to affect you personally, do your homework and talk to a lawyer.
Image credit: kadmy / 123RF Stock Photo