The Great Maryland Gun Law Secession

By Tom McHale

Maryland Guns Law Examples : Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun vs M1895 Nagant Revolver
Maryland Guns Law Examples : Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun vs M1895 Nagant Revolver
Tom McHale headshot low-res square
Tom McHale

USA –-( Are you allowed to secede from the state in which you grew up?

I know “secede” is a scary word that you normally hear from extremists, but I’m not going to make my secession that big a deal.

I mean, it’s not like I’m going to start firing cannonballs at a pile of bricks like the folks in my adopted state of South Carolina did, although that apparently entertained the locals all day. I’m going to do something milder with maybe just a hint of micro-aggression. In fact, I think I’m going to take a lesson from those people who protest by blocking traffic. I’m going to lay down on the floor of my local Target store, right in front of the hallway leading to the gender ambivalent bathrooms. That’ll get some attention for my cause.

Why this drastic action? My former home state, where we used to do things like getting 2,000 rowdy Orioles fans to flip Howard Cosell the finger on Monday Night Baseball, has turned all wussy and is now overrun with Assault Political Correctness.

Yes, I’m talking about the Republic of Maryland – the state of rough and gruff oystermen, steel workers, and Jim Palmer underwear ads.


It’s a travesty because Maryland used to be famous. It’s the state where Frank Scott Key caught cannonballs with his bare hands and hurled them back at the British all while drinking PBR and whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy. Oh, and while doing all that, he managed to write the national anthem. You know, Free Bird.

I’ve been tracking the wussification of Maryland for some years now, but things got out of control with my most recent trip back to the home of blue crab pickin’ and Natty Boh beer.

My wife and I were planning a driving trip there for a family get together. With both of us having South Carolina concealed carry permits, we’re accustomed to carrying a gun in all states between here and there. I know full well that Maryland doesn’t grant concealed carry “rights” to anyone except Michael Bloomberg’s bodyguards, but I figured I might be able to at least have a handgun in my car and family home once we arrived.

I did a little legal research by watching a few episodes of Law and Order, then I checked out the NRA-ILA gun laws website. My assumption was that I could do something like unload my gun, bolt it into a steel box welded to my trunk bed, and cover it with three feet of reinforced concrete. Guess what? No such luck. As a visitor, you’re not allowed to even possess a handgun. You can’t transport one in your car. You can’t have one at the house where you’re staying. You can’t watch any movies that depict a handgun being used by anyone other than Steven Seagal.

On the plus side, Maryland does issue concealed carry permits to residents, provided that you demonstrate a “good enough” reason to carry a handgun.

In case you were wondering, preventing yourself from being killed by thugs is not a “good enough” reason. Presumably, if you’re in charge of delivering strippers to late night legislative sessions, that is a “good enough” reason.

When I read the MD laws that prohibit pretty much everything except Chuckit Tennis Ball Throwers for your Chesapeake Retriever, I got cranky and stomped around the house bitching about Maryland politicians and the useful idiots of the Great State of Denial who elected them. After I threatened to dump four cans of Old Bay Seasoning into the Baltimore Aquarium in protest, my wife had enough of my tantrum and offered up a useful suggestion.

“Why don’t we just bring a shotgun in the car?” Yes, I married a genius.

Eureka! While not quite as convenient as a handgun, a compact shotgun would provide a little peace of mind for the long trip. Better yet, it seemed like a great way to beat “the man” at his own game. I investigated the laws and could find nothing to squash this new plan. Now fully inspired to poke my finger in the eye of every Esquire Magazine-reading Maryland politician, I decided to bring not just a plain Jane Remington 870, but something extra dangerous looking. You know, gear that might be used by the Team America Seal Ranger Delta Krav Maga and Combat Salsa Dance Squad. The choice was easy. I’ve been gradually tweaking out a Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun for the past couple of years now, and I have to say, it’s starting to look like something out of Starship Troopers.

Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun
Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun, before tactical injection.

This handy little gem is now decked out with a Nordic Components magazine tube extension, which gives me 7+1 12-gauge capacity for the Federal FliteControl Wad buckshot loads I like. I added a Mesa Tactical Urbino Pistol Grip Stock with Limbsaver butt pad and SureShell shotshell carriers on both the receiver and stock. Up top is an Aimpoint Micro H-2 red dot sight. Up front is a Crimson Trace RailMaster Pro with red laser and 100-lumen white light. Yeah, it’s a lot of gear, but I kind of use it for an experimental project gun to test out different components. It’s also turning out to be quite useful when driving through the pansy-belt states.

So here’s the kicker. This “tactical” (I hate to use that word, but it fits here doesn’t it?) beast is just hunky dory to bring to the mollycoddling state of Maryland. Those Wolf Blitzer worshipping pantywaists in the state Capitol don’t seem too concerned about what they most certainly would classify as a Tactical Super Duper Assault Shotgun.

Just to put that in perspective, what’s not OK to have in Maryland? One example would be the M1895 Nagant Revolver. That’s pretty incredible and by “incredible” I mean more pointless than Grecian Formula for Nasal Hair. Not only is it a piece of junk older than Senator John McCain, but it’s also got about as much power as a 1970 AMC Gremlin running BioFuel recycled from Jack in the Box. With its 94-pound double-action trigger, you’d be lucky to hit a drive in movie screen from the front row. But other than that, it’s a swell handgun, even if it’s not legal in Maryland.

I have to admit, this conundrum really stumped me. After all, my shotgun is outright dangerous. Well, at least it LOOKS dangerous. It’s got laser beams up front, and we all know one of those could put someone’s eye out. Not only that, it’s got a high capacity tactical light on the front which carries 100 lumens. You can beam lumens all day before you have to think about reloading more. I also hear that if you hold that light close to someone’s face for 137 straight hours that it can cause minor redness and irritation.

So how did it work out? It was a completely uneventful trip – shotgun and all. Those legislative idiots never even knew how scared they should have been.

So what did I learn?

If at first you don’t succeed, try a different gun.


Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Don’t mean to be the bear of bad news, but it is legal to have a shot gun in your car or long rifle,but if it’s loaded then your a criminal in Marylands eye.


Love the article, but as an unfortunate citizen of the People’s Republic of Maryland and a strong 2A advocate and supporter, I want to thank you in advance for making it illegal to have a shotgun in our vehicles. No, it’s not yet illegal, but once one of the liberal politicians or their sycophantic minions read this rest assured a bill to outlaw it will be submitted next general assembly session….Although even that would have a silver lining…Our so called Republican governor has yet to take a public stance on 2A issues, has the power to order his state police… Read more »

Jack Patriot

You are funny Mr. McHale. This had me chuckling and laughing the whole way through.

And to The Dude: Only illegal if you don’t replace some of the parts with U.S.-made ones. I’m sure Tom has already swapped out his hammer, handguard, mag tube follower, etc. already. So quit buggin’ him, you NERD, and just compliment him on his amusing and entertaining writing style. 😉


I’m a NY resident with NY permit and PA permit. Far easier to get my non-resident PA permit than NY.


I feel your pain, my Brother. After living most of my life in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maryland, where I was the victim of an armed robbery at gunpoint, a mugging, and an attempted armed robbery at gun point, an where “self protection” is NOT considered a valid reason to apply for, and receive a Concealed Carry Permit, I retired to South Central PA. where we have Shall Issue CCW. My first “C.C. License” (note, it’s not a permit), cost a whopping $19.00. At that time, the application fee in Maryland was, I think, $200, non refundable if you… Read more »


I forgot to mention that there is a Gun Show coming up at the Eisenhower Center, about a mile and a half west of Gettysburg, the weekend of May 28 – 29. We have no restrictions here on things like Magazine capacity, etc. Better not get caught carrying a high capacity mag through Maryland, on your way home. Better to mail it to yourself.Lou

Doodie Wadsworth

Nice article – even loved the Natty Boh reference! I grew up in the shadows of Memorial Stadium, did some time in Baltimore County, later moved to Montgomery County where I was radicalized and forced to drink the anti-gun kool-aid … But then I moved to West Virginia where folks know guns, shoot guns for sport and hunting, respect others whether or not you own a gun (but most do!) and have long embraced open carry. Not uncommon to see a semi-auto or revolver on the hips of shoppers at Home-Depot and Walmart. In two weeks WV gores full Constitutional… Read more »


Any jail has always looked pretty damn miserable to me !


Baltimore City Jail/Detention Center 401 E.Eager St.,Baltimore,Maryland. I google that place and it opened in 1801 ! Edgar Allen Poe was incarcerated in that place ! Do you believe this sh*it ? That is a damn dungeon !


I own 40 S&W 14+1 pistol 165 HP 445ftlb muzzle energy and a Mossberg 12ga 960 SPX 7+1 1oz slug 2643ftlb. At house hold distances I am more accurate with the shotgun (first round with slug head box 7 yards). So the shotgun is a better choice for me.


Maryland is the state where up until the early 80’s they had some old lady that CENSORED all the movies BEFORE they were permitted into theaters in Maryland. Couldn’t have movies polluting young minds and minds of the citizens. I could never understand how the OLD LADY managed to NOT become a sex maniac after watching all those “SEX SCENES” in the Hollywood movies. I think she even banned a cowboy kissing his horse and married couples together in a double bed.


We also had someone that censored vanity plates.


Where to start with this story. . .I lived in the communist State of Md most of my life and it is truly ridiculous there with the so called gun-laws. With a city like Baltimore and how wild and out of control those savages are, my God, WTF are the clown politicians really trying to pull on the clown like citizens of Mary-Land…but life is not so “Mary” there trust me. I made a very smart move and literally moved to VA! Wow, boy what a true huge difference 90 minutes down 95 South can make. VA is so ProGUN… Read more »


As a SC resident, why would you spend any of your money in MD, CA, NY, NJ HI or any other place outside of America?

Phantom Phlyer

Good rhetorical question!! You forgot to list the Democratic Republic of Massachusetts. I grew up there when it was part of the United States of America. Not so now. Ecstatically ensconsed in the South now for 40 years.


Being retired LEO , I Have a Federal HR218 Carry Permit that allows carry in all 50 states. Even so, Given the attitude of several states on the east coast, it may be problematic to deal with Law Enforcement in those states.

4 legs good 2 legs better

Must be nice to be more equal than others


I don’t see why a retired Leo needs a carry permit good in all 50 states. Either you’re a Leo and need it for work or you’re a civvy and should be constrained to follow the same crappy gun laws as the rest of us. That is if a Federal HR218 isn’t a shall issue to all civilians.

Mike McAllister

Don’t think he left anything to say. Stupid is as stupid does when it comes to gun control idiots.

The Dude

Putting the extension on a imported shotgun is illegal if I’m not mistaken.


Hi, I believe you are incorrect.

Beretta is a class 7 FFL and as a manufacturer they are exempt from 922r provisions.