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Maryland Illegal Firearm Modification Charges

A weapon that is permissible can be modified in such a way to make it illegal. There is what is considered as title one and title two firearms. Title one firearms are the most basic ones that do not have many regulations placed upon them. A few examples of such weapons would be shotguns, handguns, and short-barreled rifles.

Illegal modifications of a firearm can be explained by a lawyer in depth. The penalties can be severe, which means it is a wise decision to be informed on this subject.

Alterations

There are certain alterations that are permissible such as adding a scope or making the barrel of a rifle longer or shorter. That is permissible as long as the weapon remains within the allowed length. For example, a rifle can be shortened in length but it must still be within the minimum requirements of a title one firearm.

A person can also build certain personalized guns as well if it remains within the minimum requirements, it is not considered an illegal modification. An individual can also legally modify the way the gun fires but it cannot be modified shoot in a matter that exceeds semi-automatic fire.

Unlawful Alterations

There are many examples of illegal modifications.

For example, a rifle can be shortened in length but it must still be within the minimum requirements of a title 1 firearm. To provide a quick example, certain weapons such as a shotgun cannot be below a certain length. If it is shortened past what is permissible, it will be upgraded from a title one permissible firearm to a title two illegal short barreled shotgun.

In regards to changing the way a weapon discharges a bullet, a gun owner can not make it so that their weapon is fully automatic. In other words, a title one firearm that has been modified to just hold the trigger down to initiate multiple shots to be fired at once like a machine gun is unlawful.

Legal attachments can be purchased at stores and online and added to a weapon but in certain situations, adding several legal enhancements together onto one firearm can sometimes create a prohibited weapon.

Possible Defense Strategies

It is the actual modification that is prohibited so if an individual did not actually perform the alteration, this could be a defense. For example, if a person purchased a modified firearm at a gun show and did not realize it had been illegally modified then that individual didn’t knowingly commit a crime or possess the firearm unlawfully.

Other times, it can be a fine line. For example, if the requirement on a particular firearm is at least 18 inches and it is 17.75, it is obviously very close. There can be variations depending on the type of firearm and the modification being alleged.