Possession of a Firearm in a Federal Facility
The federal unlawful gun possession law is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail, but this does not mean it can be taken lightly. Anyone who arrested for possession of a weapon at a Federal Courthouse faces a similar charge with a 2-year maximum penalty. The maximum penalties increase greatly if the defendant has a prior criminal record, and could include the potential for mandatory minimum jail sentences. Federal prosecutors in Maryland take all gun cases seriously due to the strict state laws and the amount of gun violence in the Baltimore and D.C. Metro areas. Out of state residents with permits from their state are especially vulnerable to these strict laws because other states in the region are much more lenient. Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and Florida have more relaxed gun laws, and out of state residents from these areas routinely drive with handguns in their cars or on their person. Upon entering a federal facility they may have no idea that they may be subject to a search, and that their carry permit is not valid. Motorists who mistakenly drive onto federal property, such as the highway exits for the NSA or NASA are subject to search by federal police officers that will be on the lookout for handguns. This is a common situation at the dozens of federal installations in Maryland, and if you have been charged it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. Benjamin has years of experience defending clients in state and federal gun charges and is available 24 hours a day to offer a free consultation about your case.
19 U.S. Code 930 also prohibits the possession of a dangerous weapon, which is defined as any device that is capable of causing serious bodily injury. While the statute excludes pocketknives with a blade of less than 2.5 inches, it is a very broad statute and could include dozens of tools or other instruments that are commonly in a vehicle. Anyone who is charged with possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon on a federal facility could be arrested or issued a citation by a law enforcement officer. Either way the charge would require an appearance at one of the federal courthouses in the state including the two main courthouses in Baltimore and Greenbelt. The case could also be set at the courthouses on Joint Base Andrews, Fort Meade, Aberdeen Proving Ground or in Salisbury.
Benjamin Herbst represents defendants charged with gun possession and dangerous weapon possession in all Maryland jurisdictions. He also represents defendants that are charged with unlawful sale or transfer of a firearm, including straw purchases and selling firearms to prohibited individuals or juveniles. He has successfully represented numerous clients on all types of firearm offenses, and is always available to speak about the case. Call Benjamin at 410-207-2598 to discuss your defense anytime.