1. These are excerpts taken from State Statutes and other sources. Information herein should not be assumed accurate, and if you find yourself needing accurate information about law, you are hereby advised to consult a lawyer. Information herein should be used for informational, and not legal, purposes only.
  2. Any Device listed below as “legal to carry” only applies if carried with legal intent (that is for self defense).  Most often states that allow citizens to carry weapons and devices for self defense have increased penalties for using them in commission of a crime.

Maryland’s Expanded Self Defense Law

Maryland is a Castle Doctrine State: Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.  As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.

Duty to Retreat: No

Where the Law Applies: In the home.

Maryland’s Allowance of Self Defense Devices

  • Pepper Spray-Yes
  • Stun Guns and Tasers-Yes
  • Batons-Yes
  • Nunchucks-No
  • Brass Knuckles-No
  • Sling Shots-Yes
  • Knives (Longer than 3.5″)-No
  • Throwing Stars and Knives-No
  • Switchblades-No
  • Butterfly Knives-Unknown
  • Blowguns-Yes
  • Swords-Unknown
  • Cane Swords-Unknown

Maryland’s Concealed Carry Law

Maryland is a May-Issue jurisdiction is one that requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun, and where the granting of such permits is partially at the discretion of local authorities (frequently the sheriff’s department or police). The law typically states that a granting authority “may issue” a permit if various criteria are met. While an applicant must qualify for a permit by meeting criteria defined in state law, local jurisdictions in May-Issue states often have locally-defined requirements that an applicant must meet before a permit will be granted, such as providing adequate justification to the approval authority for needing a concealed carry permit (self-defense in and of itself may not be sufficient justification in some areas where justification is required).

Other Information

§ 36. (a)
(1)Every person who shall wear or carry any dirk knife, bowie knife, switchblade knife, star knife, sandclub, metal knuckles, razor, nunchaku, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon of any kind, whatsoever (penknives without switchblade and handguns, excepted) concealed upon or about his person, and every person who shall wear or carry any such weapon, chemical mace, pepper mace, or tear gas device openly with the intent or purpose of injuring any person in any unlawful manner, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned in jail, or sentenced to the Maryland Department of Correction for not more than three years.
(2)In case of a conviction under the provisions of this subsection, if it shall appear from the evidence that such weapon was carried, concealed or openly, with the deliberate purpose of injuring the person or destroying the life of another, the court shall impose the highest sentence of imprisonment prescribed.
(3)In Cecil, Anne Arundel, Talbot, Harford, Caroline, Prince George’s, Montgomery, St. Mary’s, Washington, Worcester, Kent, and Baltimore Counties it shall also be unlawful and a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection, for any person under eighteen years of age to carry any dangerous or deadly weapon, other than a handgun, between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, whether concealed or not, except while on a bona fide hunting trip, or except while engaged in or on the way to or returning from a bona fide trap shoot, sport shooting event, or any organized civic or military activity.
(1)Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, a minor may not possess pepper mace, either openly or concealed.
(2)A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 3 years or both.
(c)As used in this section, a “star knife” is a device used as a throwing weapon, consisting of several sharp or pointed blades arrayed as radially disposed arms about a central disk.
(d)As used in this section, a “nunchaku” is a device constructed of two pieces of any substance, including wood, metal, or plastic, connected by any chain, rope, leather or other flexible material not exceeding 24 inches in length.
(e)”Pepper mace” means an aerosol propelled combination of highly disabling irritant pepper-based products and is also known as oleoresin capsicum (o.c.) spray.
(f)Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the carrying of any of the weapons mentioned in subsections (a) and (b) of this section by:
(1)An officer of this State, or of any county or city, who is entitled or required to carry such weapon as part of the officer’s official equipment, or by any conservator of the peace, who is entitled or required to carry such weapon as part of the conservator’s official equipment, or by any officer or conservator of the peace of some other state temporarily sojourning in this State;
(2)Any special agent of a railway;
(3)Any person to whom a permit to carry a concealed weapon has been issued under § 36E of this article; or
(4)Any person who shall carry such weapon as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger, but the tribunal before which any case arising under the provisions of this section may be tried, shall have the right to judge of the reasonableness of the carrying of any such weapon, and the proper occasion therefor, under the evidence in the case.

This site is a public service designed to answer questions that almost everyone has. I’m not a lawyer and have no intention to be one. If you have legal questions ask a lawyer – this is not legal advice. I am not liable for what you do after you read this information.

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