Sword Legality In Maryland, USA

QUESTION: I live in Maryland, USA. I want to start collecting swords. Does anyone know the legality of owning, carrying, etc here?

ANSWER: I have to be very careful when giving anything that even sounds remotely like legal advice here, as of course, I am not a lawyer. And I don't know the specific by laws in Maryland with regards to swords...

However, generally speaking - (insert typical legalese disclaimer here!) - you must be 18 years old or have your parents permission to own a sword, some types of swords are prohibited in different states (i.e. cane swords, concelable swords, etc) and carrying them has a lot to do with intent - i.e. don't walk around with it out of the home without good reason or use it in a threatening manner (i.e. cutting stuff in the middle of the street could well be interpreted as threatening, but doing it in the privacy of your backyard or at a dojo, obviously is ok) and common sense should prevail.

That's about all I can say about the subject. If in doubt, contact your local police department.

Comments for Sword Legality In Maryland, USA

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legal disparity and reciprocity
by: B.A.Miron

in the united states, due to the way the constitution and the bill of rights(the basis of U.S. law) are setup, we have a great number of laws based in what is colloquially referred to as "states rights".......the purpose of this arrangement was to allow the states a certain degree of latitude in self government while at the same time not forcefully shoving a strong central government down their throats.....before the american civil war the south didn't realize how good their position was in that before the civil war the federal government was much weaker when compared to what powers the individual states were allowed then.....that is certainly not the case we have after the war.......what with an extremely powerful central government and a much weakened system of self governing states rights...............however, this is the reason we have opposing & conflicting laws in the u.s. especially concerning privately owned weapons, particularly in the last 80 or 90 years............for instance, it is a "federal" crime for a convicted felon to own a firearm in the u.s.......but it is NOT in all the state laws.........more than a few ADJOINING small cities & towns in the SAME state may allow UN-CONCEALED carry firearms and VICE-VERSA in their adjoining neighbors..........bizarrely, many places lump swords with knives.......think about it(concealed-unconcealed, size-wise).............and so, what does this all mean..........where ever you live in th U.S. start looking up the law very locally in your small town or city, then go to the state level and then go to the easiest to understand, the federal level.........pay close attention to the "disparities" and the fact that while state law supersedes local law(most of the time) and federal law supersedes state law(most of the time)........basicly, state laws will have more to do with the average americans life that any other group.......and remember, if their are no federal cops around, it is up to the state & local cops to decide if they are going to enforce the federal laws, many times they don't want to.......yes, that's what i said, yes, i was a cop and yes, that is how they still think, regardless of what they say publicly...........and lest we forget, there are different laws regarding people who "sell" and "collect" swords, more protective & better for the individual, legally(associations with museums & martial arts groups are very advantageous)........so pay close attention to those, if they exist where you are............try to use the laws to your advantage, ultimately, we must all obey them unless we want to change them(very possible here) so we might as well try & study them a bit for our own advantage and enjoyment.

Legality of packing a big, big, blade
by: Wild Wayne Riley

I would only be able to speculate on these 'legalities' and so here's my 2 cents. I live in Texas (in rural cowboy country)and we have a celebration that comes around at harvest time (right after halloween) called the renaissance festival. During this time people at the fair grounds dress in medieval costume. Men carry swords (on the fair grounds only) This is considered permissable. The only other times I could even fathom carrying a sword would be 1) Active Military, in uniform, on a parade field. 2)Active Military on a battle field as a last resort...especially if you're Japaneese 3) Active student or instructor of a fencing class. So, if you feel the need or want to carry a sword, my advice would be to contact your local sherrifs dept. and apply for a concealed handgum permit, because as romantic as a sword is (I own several) the intent of a sword is blatently obvious. Personally I prefer carrying a .45 caliber 1911. Not as big as a sword, but not as obvious either.

by: Jorge

In Maryland only soft padded whiffle bats are allowed to be carried on your person outside your home for personal protection (the guy in Baltimore that killed a burglar with a Katana included). Move to the real America (Virginia) and be free to do as you please.

Sword Laws in MD
by: Anonymous

I live in MD, to my knowledge the only laws are:
The sword has to be sheathed and carried in a bag when in public or transportation.

They can only be unsheathed in private, such as your own home or backyard.

But as far as using them for home security, I will have to check on that.

Sword Legality In Maryland
by: Adam Pendragon

The best thing you can do is to call your local District Attorney's Office and ask to speak to an intern, regarding swords. This person can tell you most everything you need to know.

The best advantage in getting your information directly from the DA's office is that they're the ones who decide whether or not to prosecute you, NOT THE POLICE. Just make sure you get the name of the intern, so that in case something does happen you can say Intern So-n-so told me to!

Also, most states have very few laws refering to swords specifically, exept for sword canes and katanas. Sword canes are concealed weapons, and katanas, well, just seem to be the sword of choice for angry-and or-careless people (no offence, but you know it's true. Perhaps this has something to do with someone having killed Bill.)

One last, but very important thing to remember: State laws don't always jive with City ordinances, so check these too. Your library can help with this.

Oh, one last thing: In most states, carrying a sword in the trunk of a car is, Technically, a concealed weapon. put it in the back seat (out of reach), in its scabbard, and in plain view.

legendary lightnight
by: Angel Raynard Hill

I you would like to carry your sword in any part of maryland or dc always carry it in a non threatining maner such as on your back in a strap material bag case or heard case. Also the blade of the sword should be in a sheath apon travel. do not conceal. As long as it in plain view youll have no probles. There is NO Maryland state laws that prohibits any person to bear swords in in transit to or from. But before you walk in a building ask a gaurd or authority of building policies and regulation.... for more Insight I can be contacted at my e-mail (AngelMayCry82@gmail.com) and please use good judgement when carring your sword do not use for intent to harm... live and let live♡ ☆Angel Ray Hill☆

open cary swords
by: Anonymous

Maybe if Maryland had open cary sword policies thugs n punks wouldnt be so prompt to pick people of age to target for crimes

Sword legality in US
by: Adam Pendragwn

Simply put, every State has laws regarding edged weapons, and unlike firearms, swords and knives are not protected by Second Amendment Rights—contrary to popular belief, which is why some States have outlawed Japanese swords all together. In most States (and I say that just because it might be legal in some State I’m unaware of), it is illegal to carry a sword of any kind for purposes of self defense—or even own a Japanese sword or sword cane at all; however, it is legal (that is to say not illegal) to transport a sword from one place to another. For example: it’s not against the law to buy a sword at the mall and carry it home in your car; however, it might be illegal to carry it in a closed trunk. In other words, some States (Wisconsin and Oklahoma I know) consider a sword in a car trunk a concealed weapon, and that is illegal. The best way to transport a sword is to place it in plain view in the back seat. Make sure the sword is wrapped-up in such a way that it can not be "pulled" and used without great difficulty. The way the store wraps it or the way it comes in the mail will be fine; but if it’s in a long box it might be considered a concealed weapon, so make sure one can tell that it’s a sword. To be on the safe side, if you are stopped by police, point the sword out and explain that you are transporting it.

If you are transporting a sword on foot, make sure it’s wrapped-up and can not be drawn and used without great difficulty. That’s the most important part: Everyone knows you have to occasionally take your sword from one place to another, and that’s not a problem as long as we know you don’t intend to cut someone up with it. If the sword is in a scabbard, even if it’s made of cardboard and duct tape, and the hilt is covered with clear plastic (like a laundry bag) and it can’t be pulled-out and used without great difficulty, AND you’re not walking around like a badass but carrying it down at your side, you should be fine. However, as far as I know, it is not permissible to carry a sword, say, as a side arm, in any State! Every State sets a limit on the length of knife blade you can carry (usually no more than three inches), and every sword is longer than that.

But don’t take my word for it. Call your local DAs office and ask to speak to an intern, and ask him or her. Is it legal to carry a sword for self-defense? Probably not. If I need to transport it, how should I do that—can I carry it in the trunk of my car?

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