Maryland requires that any person possessing a machine gun register his or her gun with the Secretary of Maryland State Police (“DSP”) within 24 hours of acquiring the machine gun, and annually thereafter.1 Registration applications must contain the:
- Make, model, serial number, caliber, type, barrel length, finish, and country of origin of the machine gun;
- Name, address, race, gender, date of birth, Maryland driver’s license number, and occupation of the person in possession of the machine gun; and
- Name of the person from whom the machine gun was acquired and the purpose for acquiring the machine gun.2
Manufacturers of machine guns also must keep a register of each machine gun manufactured or handled by the manufacturer.3 This register must contain the:
- Method of manufacture and serial number of the machine gun;
- Date of manufacture, sale, loan, gift, delivery, and receipt of the machine gun from the manufacturer; and
- Name, address, and occupation of the person to whom the machine gun was sold, loaned, given or delivered, or from whom the machine gun was received, and the purpose for which the machine gun was acquired.4
A manufacturer of a machine gun must allow a marshal, sheriff, or police officer to inspect the manufacturer’s entire stock of machine guns, parts, and supplies, including the register, on demand.5
A court may issue a warrant to search for and seize a machine gun possessed in violation of Maryland criminal law under the same procedure as for issuance of a warrant for stolen property.6 Moreover, a court may order, at the request of the State’s Attorney, the confiscation or destruction of a legally seized machine gun or the transfer of the machine gun to a Maryland peace officer or political subdivision.7
In 2018, Maryland passed a law that prohibits anyone from transporting a “rapid fire trigger activator” into the state. It also prohibits the manufacture, possession, sale, transfer, purchase, or receipt of, or offer to sell a “rapid fire trigger activator.”8 This term is defined to include a bump stock, trigger crank, hellfire trigger, binary trigger system, burst trigger system, or similar device, but does not include a semiautomatic replacement trigger that improves the performance and functionality over the stock trigger.9 A bump stock is a type of firearm accessory that can significantly increase its rate of fire to function similarly to a machine gun. In October, 2017, a shooter used multiple bump fire devices in an attack on concert-goers in Las Vegas to perpetrate the deadliest mass shooting attack in modern history.
Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.10 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.11
See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-403(c)(1).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-403(c)(3).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-403(a)(1).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-403(a)(2).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-403(b)(1).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-402(c)(1).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-402(c)(2).
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-305.1.
- Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-301.
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).
- Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).