With crime going up dramatically in Baltimore it’s important that good law-abiding citizens like you have the ability to protect yourselves should the need arise. That’s why I’ve written this article on what self-defense weapons are legal in Baltimore City.
Legal Self Defense Weapons in Baltimore
The following self-defense weapons are legal in Baltimore:
- Pepper Spray
- Tasers/Stun Guns
- Some knives
- Tactical pen
- Personal Alarms
Maryland Concealed Carry Permits
Thanks to the second amendment Maryland does allow firearms and does issue concealed carry permits. Unfortunately, they make it really tough for law-abiding citizens to get a concealed carry permit.
Wear and Carry Permits may be issued to any adult (18 years of age or over) who meets the following criteria:
- An applicant between 18 and 21 years of age may only be issued a wear and carry permit to possess a regulated firearm required for employment. – P.S. 5-133 (d)(2)(v)
- Has not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year has been imposed; or convicted of a criminal offense for which you could have been sentenced to more than 2 years incarceration.
- Has not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;
- Is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless under legitimate medical direction;
- Based on an investigation, has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person’s possession of a handgun a danger to the person or others;
- Has a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against danger.
- As of October 1, 2013, has successfully completed the Maryland State Police approved firearms training course within 2 years prior to submitting the original or renewal application.
Number 6 is where they get you. The definition of ‘good and substantial reason’ is so subjective that they can use it to deny almost anyone. That’s why only 0.73% of the population has a concealed carry permit.
Related: Best Gun Safes for the Money
Maryland Self Defense Law
Maryland does not have a stand your ground law. Several bills have been proposed but never have made it into law. Currently, Maryland has a ‘duty to retreat’ which means if you are attacked you must make every effort to avoid a confrontation including running away. In order to prove a killing was justified as self-defense there are three criteria set by Roach v State:
- Reasonable believe that you are in imminent danger of death or serious injury
- Absence of provocation or aggression (you can’t have started the fight)
- The use of force was reasonable to stop the situation
However, the state does have a castle doctrine which means you may defend yourself or others in your own home and there is no duty to retreat.
Is it Legal to Carry a Knife in Baltimore?
The State of Maryland has an unlawful carry law; this means you’re not allowed to conceal carry the following types of knives:
- Star knives
- Bowie knives
- Dirk knives
This law applies to the urban counties of the State which means Baltimore among others. Baltimate City also has an ordinance banning switchblades and imposing a $500 fine or violaters.
Baltimore City Charter & Code
(a) Possession or sale, etc., prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, carry, or possess any knife with an automatic spring or other device for opening and/or closing the blade, commonly known as a switch-blade knife.
(b) Penalties. Any person violating the provisions of this section, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Are Tasers Legal in Baltimore City?
Yes! Tasers and stun guns are now legal in The City That Reads. Previously the Baltimore City Council passed an ordinance banning the self-defense weapons. However, a federal court ruled that stun guns are protected under the second amendment. In 2017 the reversed the ban. You may also own a stun gun without a permit or license. (source)
Related: Best Stun Guns for Women
Is Pepper Spray Legal in Maryland?
Pepper spray is legal in the Old Line state, however, it is classified as a ‘dangerous weapon’. If you are convicted of using pepper spray to attack someone you could face up to 3 years in prison and a $1,000.
You may buy it online or at a local store.
You can also go to jail or face a $1,000 fine for giving pepper spray to a minor.
A minor may not have carry pepper spray at night except if hunting or in a genuine organized activity.
(ii) A minor may not carry a dangerous weapon between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise, whether concealed or not, except while:
1. on a bona fide hunting trip; or
2. 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.
Personal Alarms are Legal in Maryland
When you think of a self-defense weapon an alarm may not be the first thing that comes to mind but believe me a personal alarm is one of the best self-defense weapons that you can have! This isn’t an ordinary alarm.
A personal alarm is more produces a sound of more than 100 decibels. That’s louder than a jackhammer! Trust me when I say it’s shrill and loud. You wouldn’t want this alarm sounding in your ear. Also, causing a scene by making a lot of noise is a great tool to defend yourself against any surprise attack whether it be a mugger or purse snatcher. Read about an old woman whose life was saved by a personal alarm.
Tactical Pens are Legal in Maryland
A tactical pen is essentially a hidden self-defense tool. What better way to hide a defense weapon other than in plain sight. It can be used for writing, stopping someone by causing a minor wound, breaking things and even breaking glass if you use it well.
(ii) “Weapon” does not include:
1. a handgun; or
2. a penknife without a switchblade.
The tactical pens were created for people who don’t want to use a gun for self-defense and wish to have some useful things that can potentially become a weapon. You can get the Ape Survival Multi-Use Tactical pen for free here. It’s a screw diver, hexa-wrench, flashlight, and glass breaker, and yes it actually writes. And of course, it’s legal in Maryland.