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Federal Gun Charges in Maryland

Gun crimes might be charged on a state level or on a federal level. If a particular action is illegal both on the state and the federal level, how and where it is charged depends on various factors. If you are in the state of Maryland and facing federal gun charges, you need an experienced federal defense attorney to represent you.

State vs Federal

The federal government does not have the time and resources to prosecute all crimes that are technically federal crimes, such as if a hunter is found with one gun in their vehicle but otherwise has no criminal record, no criminal history, and was not involved in anything more nefarious.

When the nature of the gun crime itself is different, that can change. When there are multiple guns or Title II firearms, essentially something more than a basic handgun or basic rifle, the crime might be charged federally. This could mean machine guns or other banned weapons, even non-handgun types of weapons, such as a grenade or explosive devices, are all Title II firearms. When dealing with these weapons, the federal government would almost certainly be involved.

Situations where there is organized crime or the trafficking of guns across state lines, it is generally a federal gun charge in Maryland.

Common Charges

A common federal gun charge that is seen in Maryland involves someone who is prohibited from having a gun due to a prior felony or crime of violence of their record. These often involve multiple offenses as well. More rare federal gun charges that are seen in Maryland involve:

  • people who sell guns without licenses,
  • people who are not firearms dealers transporting guns,
  • or those who cross state lines while involved in a gun crime.

People are not charged federally for possession of knives, that is only charged on the state level.

Banned Weapons

When weapons are banned, they are generally grandfathered. This means that if someone owns the gun before it is banned, they do not have to give it up. However, nobody new can own it after that time that it is banned.

It is important to go through proper channels with such weapons. A person should not sell the banned weapon themselves as it can result in a federal charge.

Multiple Offenses

Very frequently, federal gun charges in Maryland involve multiple charges. Generally, when a case involves just one or two handguns, that is prosecuted on the state level. The federal government gets involved where there is a lot more at stake when a lot more parties are involved, and when there are multiple transgressions involved. The federal government is a lot more aggressive in their prosecution than state prosecutors.

When facing federal gun charges in the state of Maryland, it is crucial to have an attorney in your corner. Federal charges are prosecuted harshly, and only a qualified and experienced federal defense attorney can face the prosecution successfully.