Potential Pitfalls in an Application for Maryland Handgun Permit

“Providing False or Misleading Information May Lead To Your Arrest”

“FALSE INFORMATION WILL BE SUFFICIENT GROUNDS FOR DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION WHICH CARRIES A PENALTY OF IMPRISONMENT NOT TO EXCEED 1 YEAR AND/OR $1000 FINE.”

“Warning: Any person who willingly makes false statements on this application is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

These are some of the warnings that appear on Maryland’s handgun carry permit application. These applications are handled by the Maryland State Police (MSP), who take these matter very seriously. Applicants should be extremely careful when filling them out, and should absolutely seek legal advice if there is any doubt about how to answer one of the questions. The MSP complete a thorough background check and investigation of each applicant as part of the process. If the check and investigation turn up information that contradicts the answers on the application, the applicant frequently will find themselves in really hot water–facing such criminal charges as False Information or Misstatement in Application, False Statement to Officer, or even Perjury.

The most common questions that give applicants problems are the ones which ask whether the applicant has ever been 1) ARRESTED for a crime, 2) CHARGED with a crime, and 3) CONVICTED of a crime. These are three separate and distinguishable events in the criminal justice system. However, the applicant may not fully appreciate the difference.

What if someone was charged by citation, not arrested? What if the charges were dropped, entered Nolle Prosequi, or placed on the Stet docket? What about if the case has already been expunged?

These are complicated questions and each applicant’s situation is different. If you are worried that you do not know the right answer it is better to consult with an attorney than to guess or speculate. Our office provides advice and assistance with applications such as these, and will be glad to speak with you regarding your specific situation. Call attorney Chris Peretti at 301-875-3472.

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