A man from Camp Springs, Maryland, was recently sentenced to 57 months in prison after his new music video appeared on YouTube, courtesy of the American Music Group. The video was titled “E-Banga/Why you Hatin’?” and featured the 24-year-old rapping and flourishing a .45 caliber handgun with an extended magazine.
As most of us are aware, it’s not illegal to make music videos, nor is it illegal to post them online. It’s not even illegal to pose with a handgun or other weapon in a photo or video. So what is the problem?
The problem is, the amateur rap star is also a convicted felon.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, the man was convicted in Prince George’s County Circuit Court back in 2008 for committing robbery with a deadly weapon. Under Maryland law, anyone convicted of a felony offense is prohibited from owning firearms or ammo, regardless of whether or not a gun or other weapon was used to commit the offense.
(Of course, in this particular case, it didn’t help any that the residential music studio in which the video was shot happened to double as a major drug distribution center. Law enforcement stumbled upon the exact handgun used in the rap video when they raided the building and put a stop to the PCP trafficking taking place there.)
The bottom line is that it’s wise to consult a Maryland criminal defense attorney with experience in firearm violations — especially if you intend footage of yourself and your gun to go viral.