About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.



Statute Text

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Article - Criminal Law
§4–201.  
(a)   In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b)   “Antique firearm” means:
(1)   a firearm, including a firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar ignition system, manufactured before 1899; or
(2)   a replica of a firearm described in item (1) of this subsection that:
(i)   is not designed or redesigned to use rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition; or
(ii)   uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
(c)    (1)   “Handgun” means a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person.
(2)   “Handgun” includes a short–barreled shotgun and a short–barreled rifle.
(3)   “Handgun” does not include a shotgun, rifle, or antique firearm.
(d)   “Law enforcement official” means:
(1)   a full–time member of a police force or other unit of the United States, a state, a county, a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of a state who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the laws of the United States, a state, a county, a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of a state;
(2)   a part–time member of a police force of a county or municipal corporation who is certified by the county or municipal corporation as being trained and qualified in the use of handguns;
(3)   a fire and explosive investigator of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department as defined in § 2–208.3 of the Criminal Procedure Article;
(4)   a Montgomery County fire and explosive investigator as defined in § 2–208.1 of the Criminal Procedure Article;
(5)   an Anne Arundel County or City of Annapolis fire and explosive investigator as defined in § 2–208.2 of the Criminal Procedure Article;
(6)   a Worcester County fire and explosive investigator as defined in § 2–208.4 of the Criminal Procedure Article; or
(7)   a City of Hagerstown fire and explosive investigator as defined in § 2–208.5 of the Criminal Procedure Article.
(e)   “Rifle” means a weapon that is:
(1)   designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder; and
(2)   designed or redesigned, and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.
(f)   “Short–barreled rifle” means:
(1)   a rifle that has one or more barrels less than 16 inches long; or
(2)   a weapon that has an overall length of less than 26 inches and that was made from a rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise.
(g)   “Short–barreled shotgun” means:
(1)   a shotgun that has one or more barrels less than 18 inches long; or
(2)   a weapon that has an overall length of less than 26 inches long and was made from a shotgun, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise.
(h)   “Shotgun” means a weapon that is:
(1)   designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder; and
(2)   designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore one or more projectiles for each pull of the trigger.
(i)   “Vehicle” means a motor vehicle as defined in Title 11, Subtitle 1 of the Transportation Article, a train, an aircraft, or a vessel.