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"High Capacity" Magazines- Legal in Maryland?

Updated: May 12

There are a lot ( I mean a lot) of misconceptions regarding Maryland's law on "High Capacity" magazines- both among civilians and even (more so) among law enforcement. So today we break it down Barney style and really find out what the deal is- are they legal?!



"High Capacity Magazines" for Firearms in Maryland. Yes, They are Legal...

 

I am Ryan Gass with PTPGun.com. We are the leading provider of quality Concealed Carry training in Maryland and at each and every concealed carry class we hold we teach Maryland law. We even have videos here on our YouTube channel that discuss it in depth. And I meet people everyday, both civilians and law enforcement. But the specific topic that I get THE MOST questions regarding- Maryland's ignorant law developed by ignorant Anti-Citizen Rights politicians in Annapolis regarding "High Capacity Magazines".


What is a magazine anyway? Na, we ain't talking Rolling Stones or Guns n Ammo. Instead, A magazine is a device used to hold and feed ammunition into a firearm's chamber. It is typically a detachable “box” that can be inserted into a firearm's receiver. The magazine allows for consistent loading and feeding of cartridges into the firearm, allowing continuous firing without the need to manually reload after each shot. Magazines come in various capacities and designs depending on the type of firearm and its intended use. Such as this magazine for my Glock 17. There’s no correlation there, just a coincidence. Or this one for my AR-15 chambered in 5.56. or this one for my bolt action Savage Model 93 over my right shoulder. 


Common semi-automatic handguns that people tend to use for home defense or concealed carry, the standard capacity magazines is 15+ and 20-30 for many modern sporting rifles. This magazine for the Glock 17 happens to hold 17 rounds. Theres no correlation there, simply a coincidence. The standard size magazine for an AR-15 chambered in 5.56 is 30 rounds. The magazine for my Savage 93 in .17HMR is only 5. But, contrary to common sense, Maryland politicians have decided that any magazines over 10 rounds is a "High Capacity" and needs to be overly regulated. This is in their attempt to take a crowbar to the knees of gun owners, throwing a fit like Tonya Harding because they are disgruntled that citizens of the United States, including Maryland, have the Second Amendment that codifies ones right to self defense their our ability to keep and bear arms in that pursuit.


Common Questions:

-Can I own a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds?

-How many magazines I can carry?

-What if I bought it before they moved the goal post from 20 rounds down to 10 rounds?

-What if I bought them after the implementation of the new legal standard of 10 rounds?

-Can I have these magazines in my handgun or on my person while carrying?


Or here are some specific questions found in the comments of some of our YouTube Videos:

- BrianGreene4277: I have a p365 and have 2- 10round mags & was given 3- 17 round mags from my relative in VA. can I bring them into MD? can I use them at the firing range inD?

- @KRT10  What if you GOD FORBID have to use your firearm for self defense with a high cap mag.. would that be used against you in court?

-@alexbungori6906 I know Maryland law you cannot buy sell manufacture or transfer magazines over 10 rounds but why can you get them with a new purchase? Many pistols are sold in Maryland at a ffl dealer comes with magazines more than 10 rounds


Not to sound condescending but these questions are all easily answered. All we need to do is read the actual law, so let's do that now.

So what's prohibited? "A person may not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, purchase, receive or transfer a detachable magazine that has a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a firearm"


Let's break this down Barney-style:

-Is the item in question a detachable magazine?

Yes.

-Does it have a capacity for more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a firearm?

Yes.

-Now, while you are within the geographical bounds of Maryland- are you attempting to manufacture it?

-Are you attempting to sell it to someone?

-Are you attempting to offer it for sale to someone?

-Are you attempting to purchase it from someone?

-Are you attempting to receive it from someone?

-How about transfer ownership of it?

-Then whatever you are asking is legal.


Maryland law enforcement officers can only arrest you for conduct that is done in Maryland that violates the statutes as written and signed into law- even if it violates your constitutional rights (there are several that do in fact uphold the Constitution and won't arrest you under ignorant anti-2A laws).


The burden is on the government, law enforcement officers for example, to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt- not the other way around.


What do I mean by that? A person texted me the other day asking "If you do have an over 10 round magazine and are found in possession of it by a LEO, are you legally obligated to prove where you bought it from out of state. in other words, do you need to provide a receipt for purchase or is your word all you need to provide?


My response- "No, you are not required to prove your innocence- it's the job of law enforcement to prove your guilt. Do not answer any questions from them, see 5th Amendment"

 

Break down-

1. The law enforcement officer believes you received that magazine in Maryland, in violation of Maryland law. But nothing leads them to that belief other than your simple possession of it- which isn't a violation of Maryland law (regardless of what they may incorrectly believe or try to mislead you to believe, as evidenced in the screenshot above of the actual statute). If they believe that you came to receive that magazine in violation of Maryland law- it his their job to prove it. You need not participate in their investigation in any bit. You are not required to answer any questions of law enforcement at anytime. You right (not a privilege but instead a right) is protected by the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


2. Why do they even know you possess such an item? Answer no questions as anything you say or do can AND WILL BE used against you. And it is NEVER advisable to consent to any searches. Do not resist any lawful searches that do not require consent but in the event of any search, be sure to calmly but confidently make it clearly known that you do not consent to any searches or seizures of your property. If they do not meet the constitutional standards for a lawful search such as a warrant, probable cause or exigent circumstances- anything found subject to that search will be inadmissible in court.

 

To summarize- nothing in Maryland law prohibits the ownership, use, possession, carrying or a "detachable magazine that has a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a firearm".


I hope that clears up any confusion for you on "high capacity magazines". Share this article with someone else that may be confused on what the law says, whether they are a "law abiding citizen" or even a law enforcement officer.


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