I avoid Maryland if I have handgun with me.
This is a discussion on Driving through Maryland within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I will be driving through Maryland from Florida to Pennsylvania and returning about a week later. I have a Florida Concealed Weapon Permit. I intend ...
I will be driving through Maryland from Florida to Pennsylvania and returning about a week later. I have a Florida Concealed Weapon Permit. I intend to carry by CCW. How or what should I do to remain legal in MD? I have two concerns: First, MD does not recognize FL CC Permit, and it seems like merely driving through is a problem. Second, the MD law excludes possession of a handgun from those habitual users of narcotics. It does not say the "illegal" use. My wife takes a very low dose prescribed by a doctor. She never drinks. Has never smoked a joint, drank a can of beer or used illegal drugs, ever! She is always a sober as anyone can ever be. What of medications prescribed by a physician? Is this an issue in other states? I think even the form we sign to purchase a firearm only bars the purchase by people with illegal drug issues? Any advice?
Where in PA are you going? if western to central head across 40, cut up through VA and WV and take 19 into Pittsburgh.
Avoid Maryland if at all possible. If not, be aware that there are very limited circumstances in huch you can have the gun in a vehicle. The gun must be unloaded and securely cased.
See MCSM: Maryland Firearm Laws
Your Florida license is not valid in Maryland, obviously.
You are covered by the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) of 1986. Go ahead and follow the link and check out the Safe Passage section. In essence, because you may legally possess the firearm at your destination and your origin, you may transport it safely in between.
Before you cross the border into Maryland, disarm, unload the firearm, and store the pistol and ammo separately, locked in the trunk. The pistol should be in some sort of closed bag or retention holster. As soon as you get out of Maryland and into Pennsylvania, hit the first rest area and feel free to enjoy your 2nd Amendment rights again.
Needless to say, of course, don't do anything stupid while you are in Maryland and I would plan to avoid any stops (gas and bathroom breaks if you need them, but really Maryland isn't that big and you should be able to breeze on through in one go) in state. Really, it won't be a problem.
As for the prescription meds, I really don't see that as a problem. If for whatever reason you came to find yourself talking to an MD State Trooper, who decided your wife was under the influence, didn't pay heed to the Rx, and discovered the firearm, it still wouldn't be in her possession because it is locked in the trunk. I am not a lawyer, of course, but I find it hard to imagine a circumstance where things could go wrong enough for this to be an issue in the half-hour or so it takes you to cross the state...
Enjoy your trip!
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I regularly go between PA and WV by means of Maryland. I stop at a convenience store just outside of Maryland, lock everything up, and go non-stop through Maryland. I usually don't even bother stopping right when I leave Maryland just because Morgantown isn't that much further.
when driving THROUGH, that means no stopping whatsoever, a "bad" state like MD, follow the FOPA rules and you should have no issues. your wife's condition is irrelevant unless she is in possession of a weapon. Be aware that DC is a no go place as is MD.
If you read through what's been posted so far you have the right answer... Stop, disarm and lock the weapon it up in the trunk. Some folks recommend unloading the mags and having the ammo separate (console or glove box) as an extra safety step.
Also, did you check transport through South Carolina? Seems a couple years ago (2008 - 9) when I went from MD to FL and back I had to disarm there, night have just been the Florida non-resident permit thing though.
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Can he have JHP ammo with him in MD even if following FOPA? I have no idea, just asking.
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JHP ammo is legal. The MD AG has also ruled loaded mags are ok so long as not in the firearm (attached).
It is legal to make brief fuel and meal stops. Previous court rulings have affirmed this. Anything else is not legal.
While the FOPA might offer you a defense in court, you'll still be out thousands of dollars, etc.
Maryland is very gun-unfriendly. Personally, I would not risk it.
I have traveled north bound up I-81 2 or more times a year for the last 20 years. This is "my" method;
As you approach the end of WV north bound on I-81 you will see on your left a rest stop for south bound traffic. Shortly after you are on a long bridge/overpass slightly uphill. MD is on the other side of the bridge for all practical intent and purpose and you can't see the, pardon the phrase, "Welcome to MD" until you are on top of it. There is no place to stop on the bridge so your operative condition must be decided by the time you pass the south bound rest area as there is a mile or two where you can still pull over safely. IIRC that section of MD is posted 60 MPH so at 58-59 MPH it takes just under 11 minutes to cross. At the 12 minute mark you are across the Mason/Dixon onto PA turf one mile after that is State Line Road exit and one more mile brings you to the first PA north bound rest area. A good place to stop and assess one's operational readiness if one should so desire and crack open the thermos for a hot java. About 14 minutes in all.
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The only time Maryland got very pissed off at me was when I was in a Michigan security guard uniformed and we were armed..and they couldn't do a darn thing about it but fume impotently. I was escorting a U.S. tank that was loaded on a flatbed semi on the way to the Aberdeen Maryland Proving Grounds. Military escort convoy duty.
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