Posted: 1/20/2008 6:36:34 PM EST
I know you guys probably see a lot of this, and if you just wanna post a link that's fine.
But I'm looking for a plain-speak breakdown of MD laws. I have a C&R license and get the big book of state laws, but I'm at my wit's end trying to decipher that stuff.
My wife and I own several AK's (10-ish give or take, I've never really counted), will be building a couple AR-15's soon, and numerous handguns (along with a few shotguns and some bolt-actions for hunting/paper and steel).
So....how quickly will I want to turn the orders down?
You should be fine bringing what you have now. ARs are fine, SBRs are fine.
I'm stationed in Korea now, but just came from Meade. My HOR is PA though, so I never had to deal with or even learn about the process of buying a firearm in the state of MD. I would just go north of the border and buy whatever I want.
What you will really miss is if you're used to CCW, it's not going to happen there. Also I found all of the ranges to be really expensive. The area surrounding Meade was far too crowded for me, so I chose to live in Sykesville, about 30 miles northwest. I looked into all the ranges nearby, but didn't care for any of them. Either they were way too expensive, or had range nazi R/O's that were a pain in the ass...or both.
My girlfriend and I for a time actually preferred to drive an hour and forty-five minutes to a game lands range north of Carlisle, PA. We'd make a day of it. You could shoot with a little more freedom, no R/Os telling you to slow your rate of fire, and it was free. The game lands ranges have their drawbacks too, but I could live with them, mostly though because I typically only went to shoot pistols. After the summer, I knew and had more friends in Carlisle, PA than I did where I lived in MD.
One thing I noticed about the shooters in MD is that a lot seemed to accept the laws they're under as simply a hassle, not a serious infringement. A lot think that it's an irritant and it's really not that bad. The truth is, most of them don't realize how bad it really is.
I was only there a little over a year when I got moved to Korea. I always said how much I hated it, but I'd love to be back there compared to where I'm at now.
I've been stationed on Fort Meade and have been living in the area on and off for 7 years (between deployments that is). As stated by the previous poster, CCW laws are draconian at best.
You will have no troubles with EBRs, but bring a good supply of high capacity magazines with you. MD limits magazine purchases within the state to 20 rounders. Possession in state or purchase of larger capacity magazines outside the state is not prohibited. Additionally, if stationed here apply as a registered collector to bypass the one regulated firearm per month restriction (regulated=handguns and EBRs). NFA purchases are straight forward and other members can point you in that direction if you are interested.
Regulated Firearms List
Ranges are a problem in the Fort Meade area. The closest one is On Target just outside the gate on rte. 175. This a shop populated by cretins behind the counter. I shoot handguns at MSAR but it leaves a lot to be desired.
Fort Meade does have ranges available but they are not run my the US Army. The NSA police ran the ranges last time I was there (2003). They do have a club that meets but I don't know the details or shooting schedule (Fort Meade Rod & Gun Club).
Lawmen Supply in Clinton Md is a good shop run by professionals (a rarity in MD) that deals with LEO and Military only. They have a good selection of weapons geared towards that community. They'll treat you right and offer you any incentives they have for individual officer purchases.
On the brighter side, Fort Meade just built new housing along the golf course that appears to be nice.
All in all MD is not bad but I am looking to make the jump into Virginia.
If you need any specifics on the post drop me an email and I will point you in the right direction.
Just to add to that my experiences. As stated, the employees at On Target seemed like cretins to me as well. I never shot there, but went in a couple times to look around. Each time there were maybe three guys working, and only one ever seemed like a decent guy. I personally found their prices for range time to be expensive also.
Marriottsville Range, was about five minutes from where I lived. It looks like a great place to shoot, clean, nice facilities. I stopped in there twice and talked to a famous range nazi each time. He wouldn't give me the time of day and acted like I was bothering him just asking a few questions about shooting there, despite the fact that he wasn't doing anything anyway. Between that guy, the fact that to shoot there you're going to spend at least $180/year, and their huge list of over the top rules and regulations, I never shot there.
Continental Arms in Timonium...this place I liked. I liked the guys working there, and they always had an interesting selection of toys to check out. I shot there twice, it's an indoor range. It was a little pricey, but I guess no more pricey than the other indoor ranges in MD. I'm not a big indoor range guy though, and at those prices I wasn't going to become one. Their location was a drawback, as I hated driving out there. They also get some real winners in that place. The last two times I was there, coincidently, both times there was a group of black guys who couldn't understand why they couldn't shoot their AR in their indoor pistol range.
Hap Baker...outdoor range at Carroll County landfill. I shot here twice. Prices were reasonable. The only thing that kept me from going back...other than the fact part of it burned down and had to be rebuilt, was that some of the R/O's at this place were stooges who seemed to constantly feel the need to show their authority. The first time I went, there was a little guy with a beard who tried to belittle me over a few things, one of them being that I showed up with empty mags in the pistols when he checked them. He claimed only LEOs can have mags in the pistols while transporting, loaded or not. I was new to the state at the time, but I think he's wrong. Doesn't matter anyway, I don't care now. I also was told to slow down with one of my .22 pistols, despite the small group...."3 seconds between shots"...
I also shot at the club up by Thurmont once for a USPSA shoot. I was there twice, once to shoot, another time before that just to check the place out. I really liked the guys there, both the people working and the shooters. I really liked the facilities too. The only reason I didn't join to shoot there was it was way too expensive for me. They wanted over $300 for an initiation fee, plus I forget whatelse. If I were planning on staying in the state for years to come, maybe I'd consider it, but being military it wouldn't make any sense to do that.
Anyway, those are my MD shooting experiences, probably a lot more than anyone would want to read...especially when it's not really what the OP asked about I guess...sorry.
If you're interested in competing in service rifle events, the MD State Rifle team has frequent across-the-course matches & training at the Ft Meade range. Not an open range format. Excellent people.
Not much I can add to the "laws" responses above.
If you're the same "Armed Ferret" from over at SH, you'll probably get a lot of mileage out a Quantico membership. I live not far from Meade and it takes me about an hour to run down in the typical early morning, and about two to get home with average afternoon I-95 traffic. Range 4 has been open pretty often, and we generally start briefly at 100, and move the firing line back in a couple jumps to 1k (add 30 yards to steel on the berm), Range 305 is a flat range where target stands/steel can be placed up to about 450 from the static firing line. PM if you need more info/assistance.
ETA: Buy your lowers **now** for your AR builds. Once you get into the state, the non-HBAR ARs and any lower transfers like a handgun, and requires MSP "non-disapproval", complete with the associated expense, time delay and record keeping they do. You can bring them with you with no requirement for registration.
PA452 is right, most Marylanders really don't realize just how bad our laws infringe upon our right to keep & bear, and just how much record keeping actually goes on.
WOW! Thanks for all the info guys. Let me make sure I've gotten the high points on firearms themselves:
--the stuff I have when I arrive won't require registration
--I get "collector" status and I don't have to be limited to one per month (I have a C&R, will this help the process along at all?)
--I stock up on high-caps now and bring them with me and I'm fine, but I can't transfer/sell/buy anything bigger than 20 once I'm there
Quantico was definitely looking like the way to go. Good to know Meade has a rod & gun club.
I do have one AK (Yugo M92) that I built as a pistol. Am I better off going the SBR route and attaching the stock before I come out (if that's indeed what happens)?
Finally, how about suppressors? Was planning on two but if they're a no-go I won't worry about even putting down the cash for 'em.
You don't need the C&R to qualify as a collector. Just fill out the paperwork, mail it in and in around three weeks you get your notice back from the MDSP. You'll never have to show the letter again. You'll just check off that you are a designator collector when you purchase a regulated firearm.
Suppressor are fine here. I plan on getting a can myself when I get back.
I think you are screwed with the AK pistol though, unless you SBR it.
Well I looked through the law and it seems like "assault pistols" are defined as an original or copy of a bunch of named items, none of which is a variant of the AK. Although to avoid chancing it, I'll probably be SBR'ing the m92. should just make it more fun anyway.
I guess now I gotta find me a template for the trunnion, as well as a rear underfolding stock.
Thanks for the insight. You at ASAB? I got to put up with 5 months of TCN there Sep-Jan 06-07. Made me feel like I was in High School all over again.
I am fortunate not to be at ASAB. I work for an interesting program as an advisor to the Kuwait Armed Forces. I work at their facilities. I try to stay away from ASAB and Arifjan as much as possible. Going to those installations reminds me of a minimum lock-up facility.
If you accept the assignment perhaps we can send a few rounds downrange together. Fort Meade is not that bad.
Hey that sounds like a cool gig to be sure!
Looks like if the orders drop for me I'll pick it up. I just gotta get the paperwork ordered from the ATF for the SBR. man that's a gay law. oh well....i've wanted an excuse to SBR the m92 for a while now.
in any case, i'd love to throw some lead downrange with ya. i'll PM you my contact info so we can keep in touch.
Here's my $.02:
Stay away from the Meade Rod and Gun Club. I shot with them once and never will again. They have no affiliatioon with the post. Entry to the ranges on the weekend they are allowed use is though the back gate to the range (approx. 15 min drive from base gates along rt 175). You can only enter during a 30 min window in the morning, then they lock the gates. You can only leave at two hour intervals (0900, 1100, etc). There are only two ranges where lead ammo is allowed: Range 1 (Known Distance range) and the last range on the road (can't remember the number, it's either 7 or 8). That's the sniper range (up to 300 m). All other ranges require green ammo.
I shot with the guys on the sniper range. After firing from about 30 m, they moved everyone back up to the 300m line. I didn't have an AR at the time, just some pistols, a shotgun, and a Mini-14. They all had tricked out and scoped ARs and M1s. I had never fired my mini before and wasn't even able to zero it before firing from 300m.
Unless things have changed (it's been 3 years) I'd avod this.
My recommendation is to take the time to drive down to fairfax, VA and shoot at NRA HQ. cost is about $7 an hour. If there is no waiting list, they won't kick you off after an hour. Indoor range that let's you shoot up to 30'06 and 12 ga slugs. Class III is OK there (as well as no "3 seconds between shots"); they also allow drawing and shooting from the holster. Range is all electronic, so you can program the distcnace out to 50 yds; you can also program the targets to turn sideways every few seconds for reactive shooting and "shoot/no shoot" scenarios. They are sticklers for safety, but the few things they harp on are simple and make sense.
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