Would it be acceptable for me to carry a collapsable baton and mace for self defense in the state of Maryland?
MD is very strict on weapons laws and the mace is a mace pepper gun I was wondering if I could carry them for self defensive purposes and what would happen if I was stopped and searched? I only plan to use them for self defense and when walking around my area at night cause of aggressive dogs, etc.
- MooreLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
I live in Maryland too and I carry a baton and pepper spray for self-defense.
The legality is somewhat complex but I will try my best to explain in plain English.
-Ignore anyone saying you carry a gun. Carrying a handgun, even if it is carried in plain sight, is illegal in Maryland. There are handgun carry permits but they are only issued to guards and cash handlers. They are not issued to private citizens unless you have court-documented death threats.
-Pepper Spray is completely legal to carry in Maryland. Maryland non-handgun carry law is Title 4-101 of the Criminal Code. It does not mention pepper spray anywhere except if it is carried with intent to unlawfully injure another person. Self-defense is not unlawful. The District Court's charging language also explicitly says pepper spray/mace is not illegal to carry under this law unless you are under 18 years of age or if it is carried with unlawful intent.
-Batons are a strange grey area under 4-101. This law does not say the word "baton" anywhere nor does it contain descriptions of anything even close to a baton. However, this law does contain the term "dangerous weapon." Because that term is extremely vague, it is understood by police officers and the courts that weapons which are not named in the law could count as this IF and only if they are carried with some sort of unlawful intention. If you had a claw hammer concealed and you were going to murder someone with it, then it would be illegal. But if you had a hammer because you are a carpenter, then it is not illegal. The law also contains an exception for people who carry a dangerous weapon "as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger" i.e. self-defense, though it is the court that gets to decide if this applies. The point of all this is that it depends on why you have a baton and why you were searched. Could you be arrested if a cop searches you and finds a baton? Yes, it is possible but it is not certain. When you carry, you take a risk that the cop knows his own state's law. Some cops in MD have lost their badges for arresting people for things that were not actually crimes in MD. But keep in mind that cops cannot just randomly pick people off the street and search them. You have to be doing something that pisses them off in the first place or otherwise acting in a suspicious manner. I have carried a baton for over 10 years, and a cop has never so much as stopped to talk to me (unless he is a friend of mine at the coffee shop) because I do not go looking for trouble and I have a very slow temper.
I learned almost all of this by talking to different cops who I made friends with, or whom I knew through my job when I was a security guard.Source(s): http://mlis.state.md.us/asp/statutes_respond.asp?a... http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/charginglan...
- Anonymous9 years ago
Carry a gun. A baton isn't going to stop a large dog. If your unlucky mace will just make the dog angry. If your being attacked by a dog regularly, call animal control or police. Or just kill it yourself next time your attacked. It is not legitimate to allow aggressive dogs outside at night. If it's a feral, stray, or rabid, It needs to be dealt with. GUN. POLICE. ANIMAL CONTROL.