Sec. 29.03.01.02. Generally  


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  • A. This chapter restricts the sale, rental, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession, and transport of regulated firearms and assault weapons in the State.

    B. A dealer or other person may not:

    (1) Sell, rent, transfer, purchase, receive, or possess a regulated firearm in violation of this chapter;

    (2) Participate in a straw purchase in violation of this chapter;

    (3) Transport a regulated firearm into the State for the purpose of unlawfully selling or trafficking the regulated firearm; or

    (4) Obliterate, remove, change, or alter the manufacturer’s identification mark or number on a firearm.

    C. Except as provided in §D or E of this regulation, a person may not:

    (1) Possess, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, or receive an assault weapon in the State; or

    (2) Transport an assault weapon into the State.

    D. The prohibitions in §C of this regulation do not apply to:

    (1) Personnel of the United States government or an agency or department of the United States while acting within the scope of official business;

    (2) A railroad police officer, authorized under 49 U.S.C. §28101 or Public Safety Article, Title 3, Annotated Code of Maryland, while acting within the scope of official business;

    (3) Possession, purchase, sale, manufacture, receipt for manufacture, shipment for manufacture, importation, and transport to or by a licensed firearms dealer or manufacturer who is:

    (a) Providing or servicing an assault weapon or detachable magazine for a law enforcement unit or for personnel exempt under §D(1) or (2) of this regulation;

    (b) Acting to sell or transfer an assault weapon or detachable magazine to a licensed firearms dealer in another state or to an individual purchaser in another state through a licensed firearms dealer; or

    (c) Acting to return to a customer in another state an assault weapon transferred to the licensed firearms dealer or manufacturer under the terms of a warranty or for repair; or

    (4) Receipt and possession of an assault weapon or detachable magazine by inheritance, in accordance with Regulation .10 of this chapter, if the decedent lawfully possessed the assault weapon and the person inheriting the assault weapon or detachable magazine is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm;

    (5) Receipt of an assault weapon or detachable magazine by a personal representative of an estate for the purposes of exercising the representative’s powers and duties, if the representative is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm;

    (6) Possession by a person who is retired in good standing from service with a law enforcement agency of the State or a local law enforcement agency in the State and is not otherwise prohibited from possessing an assault weapon or detachable magazine, if:

    (a) The assault weapon or detachable magazine was purchased or obtained by the person for official use with the law enforcement agency before retirement; or

    (b) The assault weapon or detachable magazine is sold or transferred to the person by the law enforcement agency on retirement; or

    (7) Possession or transport by an employee of an armored car company if the individual is acting within the scope of employment and has a permit issued under Public Safety Article, Title 5, Subtitle 3, Annotated Code of Maryland;

    (8) Possession, receipt, transfer, and shipping to or from:

    (a) An ISO 17025 accredited ballistics-testing laboratory approved by the National Institute of Justice; or

    (b) A facility or entity that manufactures or provides research and development testing, analysis, or engineering for personal protective equipment or vehicle protection systems; or

    (9) Possession or transport by an individual who lawfully possessed the assault pistol before June 1, 1994, if it was registered with the Secretary before August 1, 1994;

    (10) Possession or transport by individual who lawfully possessed, had a purchase order for, or completed an application to purchase the assault long gun or copycat weapon before October 1, 2013; or

    (11) Possession, sale, offer for sale, or transfer by a dealer of an assault long gun or a copycat weapon that the dealer lawfully possessed on or before October 1, 2013.

    E. This chapter does not apply to:

    (1) The sale, transfer, or possession of an antique firearm;

    (2) A firearm modified to render it permanently inoperative;

    (3) An unserviceable firearm sold, transferred, or possessed as a curio or museum piece;

    (4) Law enforcement personnel of any unit of the federal government or law enforcement personnel of the State or any local law enforcement agency in the State while acting within the scope of their official duties;

    (5) Members of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard while acting within the scope of their official duties;

    (6) A sale, rental, transfer, or use of a regulated firearm by a person authorized or required to do so as part of the person’s duties as a member of:

    (a) An official police force or other law enforcement agency;

    (b) The armed forces of the United States, including all official reserve organizations; or

    (c) The Maryland National Guard;

    (7) Purchases, sales, and transportation to or by a federally licensed firearm manufacturer, dealer, or importer;

    (8) The transfer or possession of a regulated firearm or detachable magazine by a federally licensed firearm manufacturer, dealer, or importer for testing or experimentation authorized by the Secretary;

    (9) An organization that is required or authorized by federal law governing its specific business or activity to maintain firearms; or

    (10) A signal pistol or other visual distress signal that the United States Coast Guard approves as a marine safety device.

    F. Unless exempted pursuant to §D or E of this regulation, an assault pistol possessed in this State shall be registered with the Secretary on or before August 1, 1994. An assault pistol is presumed to be properly registered with the Secretary if it was purchased before June 1, 1994, and an application to purchase a regulated firearm was properly completed.

    G. A regulated firearm or assault weapon that is sold, rented, transferred, purchased, received, possessed, or transported in violation of this chapter may be seized as contraband and disposed of by a law enforcement agency.

    (1) An assault weapon seized as contraband shall be disposed of as follows:

    (a) Turned over to the Secretary for disposal;

    (b) Destroyed by the law enforcement agency that seized the assault weapon; or

    (c) Retained for law enforcement purposes by the law enforcement agency that seized the assault weapon.

    (2) An assault weapon seized as contraband may not be sold or rented.

    H. This chapter supersedes any restriction that a local jurisdiction in the State imposes on the sale, transfer, or possession of a regulated firearm, and the State preempts the right of any local jurisdiction to regulate the sale of a regulated firearm.