Question by akakool: Is an AK-47 Legal to purchase/transfer in Maryland?
I assume the WASR-10 could be legal because it is limited to 10 rounds. However, are other AK-47s legal that accept high-capacity magazines?
I understand that MD does not allow magazines greater than 20 rounds.
Example: buying a Bulgarian AK-47 (7.62×39) with a 20 round double stack magazine – is this legal in Maryland? Thanks
Answers and Views:
Answer by J.B. K
go ask ur local gun dealer — don’t take anything u see here to be correct or legal
Answer by Drontheim Build Works
As of the date of this writing (September 2021), the following pertains to Maryland:
In Maryland, all RIFLES manufactured by Avtomat Kalashnikov are ‘enumerated banned firearms’ (banned by name in FSA 2013). If a rifle built by another manufacturer (or a private individual) is 100% parts compatible with a rifle manufactured by Avtomat Kalashnikov, it is a ‘copy of an enumerated banned firearm’ and is also banned.
If a RIFLE is NOT 100% parts compatible, then even AK-format rifles by another manufacturer MAY be considered legal to own. Identifying whether a given AK-format rifle by a given manufacturer other than Avtomat Kalashnikov is a somewhat murky proposition, and it is best to consult an FFL with specific experience and expertise in this area and/or a Maryland firearms attorney with specific expertise in this area.
AK-format pistols are NOT ‘enumerated banned firearms’, and are legal for purchase or transfer in Maryland. HOWEVER, as a handgun, if a given specific handgun was manufactured after 1985, the specific make and model must be listed on the Maryland Approved Handgun Roster.
If it is not, then a formal request for review may be submitted to the Maryland Handgun Roster Review Board, which meets quarterly. A sample firearm must be shipped to an FFL who must then arrange to submit it to the review board by the posted deadline for a given meeting date. If the review board approves it, it will be added to the published roster (within about a month), at which time the transfer may be completed. If it is not approved, then it will be added to the Disapproved Firearm List, and the FFL must make appropriate arrangements (disposition) to return it to the shipper (or shipper’s FFL of choice) or transfer or sell by way of another FFL in a jurisdiction where it is legal.
HANDGUN QUALIFICATION LICENSE:
In order to receive a handgun purchase, transfer, or rental of a handgun in Maryland, the recipient must have a Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL).
RIFLES WITH FIXED MAGAZINES:
All semi-automatic rifles, regardless of format, having a fixed magazine of greater than 10-round capacity are banned within Maryland. (For example, an SKS or a Lee Enfield with a fixed magazine of greater than 10-round capacity, would both be banned based upon that particular feature.)
MARYLAND MAGAZINE LAW:
Regardless of the debatable original intent, the magazine capacity law in Maryland — in actual effect — amounts to a nuisance law intended to be a pain-in-the-ass for law abiding citizens, and to be a feel-good law for anti-second amendment grabbers wishing to punish law-abiding gun owners for having the audacity to wish to exercise that right.
It is NOT legal WITHIN Maryland to sell, offer for sale, purchase, transfer, receive or manufacture magazines of greater than 10-round capacity.
What does this mean in practice?
‘SALE OR OFFER FOR SALE’: no individual or business may OFFER, let alone sell or transfer a magazine of greater than 10 rounds capacity within Maryland borders to a citizen of Maryland.
Examples: an individual or business CAN make an offer said magazines for sale to someone who lives outside of Maryland. HOWEVER, they may NOT make such an offer to a Maryland citizen, even if the transfer of said magazines was to take place outside of Maryland.
‘PURCHASE’: a Maryland citizen, while in Maryland, may not purchase magazines of greater than 10 rounds capacity, whether online, by phone, mail or other means, with the intent of receiving those magazines within Maryland.
‘TRANSFER OR RECEIVE’: it is not legal to (permanently or semi-permanently) transfer (deliver to) or receive from someone else a magazine of greater than 10 round capacity within Maryland.
Examples: It WOULD be permissible to go to a shooting range with a friend and use magazines of any capacity legally owned by said friend. It would NOT be permissible to indefinitely take possession of magazines of greater than 10 round capacity from a relative to ‘borrow’ them for an extended period, as that would amount to control of said magazines being ‘transferred’ from one individual to another.
‘MANUFACTURE’: covers both the original creation from component parts or the conversion of a magazine from a capacity of less than or equal to ten rounds to a capacity of greater than 10 rounds WITHIN THE BORDERS OF Maryland.
It does not matter if the components are created from scratch. It does not matter if the components are manufactured elsewhere and arrive separately individually or by way of a kit. It does not matter if it was originally of greater capacity that was then limited in some manner, via block, pin, rivet, or other means. Receiving the parts within Maryland is legal. Assembling or re-assembling the parts WITHIN MARYLAND BORDERS in a way that creates a magazine of greater than 10-round capacity when one either did not exist or did but was of a lesser legal capacity (whether limited or not) is NOT.
But, it IS legal for a Maryland citizen to ‘manufacture’ a magazine of any capacity OUTSIDE of Maryland, and to then bring it back into Maryland.
THERE ARE NO OTHER MAGAZINE ‘LOOPHOLES’:
There is NO ‘gun show’ loophole.
There is NO ‘private transfer’ loophole.
You are NOT permitted to order magazines online from another state and have them shipped to Maryland.
You are NOT permitted to order ‘parts kits’ and have them shipped to Maryland and then ASSEMBLE them or convert pre-existing magazines to exceed 10 rounds WITHIN Maryland.
It does NOT matter whether or not a magazine comes with a firearm, or it is separate from a firearm.
You may NOT arrange for purchase within Maryland, then leave Maryland to effect the transfer of the goods, then return to Maryland. The Maryland State Police consider that ‘willful circumvention’ of Maryland law.
LEGAL MAGAZINE TRANSACTIONS:
You MAY legally purchase standard capacity magazines if you are outside of Maryland.
You MAY receive magazines of any capacity outside of Maryland, BUT (in order not to be a willful circumvention of Maryland law as mentioned above) IF they are from a Maryland source, they must NOT be a magazine of greater than 10-round capacity.
You MAY assemble, re-assemble or create magazines of any capacity OUTSIDE of Maryland.
You MAY bring magazines of any capacity back into Maryland yourself for your own use.
You MAY possess magazines of any capacity within Maryland.
CAVEAT (BLAH BLAH BLAH):
I am not a lawyer. The above does not constitute formal legal advice. As for all things pertaining to law (and especially firearms law), those with serious interest and specific case-by-case questions should consult with an attorney WITH SPECIFIC EXPERTISE pertaining to a given subject.
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