We have gather this guide to gun laws in Maryland. Here you can learn more about Maryland gun laws, how to get a gun permit and more.


Gun Laws in Maryland

  • You do not need a permit to purchase or carry rifles and shotguns in the state of Maryland. Registration of firearms and the licensing of owners is also not necessary for rifles or shotguns.

  • You do, however, need a permit to purchase and carry handguns. Registration of firearms and licensing of owners is also necessary for handguns. To apply for a handgun in Maryland, click here.

  • If you do not have a permit, you may not wear or carry a handgun, openly or concealed. Without a permit, you are also prohibited from knowingly transporting a handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, waterways or airways.

  • You may not possess a firearm in Maryland if you are a habitual drunkard, a fugitive from the law, are under the age of 21 (for handguns), mental institution patient of 30 days or more, if you are addicted to a controlled substance, are a convicted felon (or have been convicted of a violent crime), and more. If you are caught unlawfully possessing a firearm, you may spend up to 10 years in prison, and if you have three or more unlawful possession convictions, you may spend at least 15 years in prison.

  • Though the sale or transfer of a rifle or shotgun to anyone under the age of 18 is illegal, it is not illegal to possess a shotgun while under the age of 18.

  • You may not obliterate or alter the manufacturer’s identification mark or number on a firearm. If you do, or even if you are caught in possession of a weapon with an altered/removed ID mark/number, law enforcement will assume you have committed the offense.

  • You may not carry a firearm of any kind on public school property. If you are found guilty of doing so, you may spend up to 5 years in prison

  • You may not have a loaded firearm in an area where you know, or should reasonably know that someone under the age of 16 can access it.

  • Even if you have a gun permit, you still may not use a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Antique firearms are exempt from certain state laws, depending on individual circumstances surrounding the case.



Can I Own a Machine Gun in Maryland?

Though in many cases, the answer to this question is simply no, there are certain circumstances under which an individual may purchase or own a machine gun. Those circumstances are as follows:

  • If the machine gun has been manufactured, sold, or transported for a military force or peace officer of the United States

  • If you can prove that you possess the machine gun for “scientific purposes”

  • If the machine gun is no longer usable as a weapon and you can prove you possess it solely as a curiosity, ornament, or keepsake

  • If the court determines you possess the gun for a purpose that is clearly not aggressive or offensive in any way

The courts will generally consider it illegal to possess a machine gun under the following circumstances, among others:

  • If you failed to register the machine gun within 24 hours of obtaining it (and once every year after that)

  • If you have been convicted of a crime of violence.

  • Or, if you are an illegal alien.


What Types of Handguns Are Illegal in Maryland?

Though in many cases, it is perfectly legal to own a handgun in the state of Maryland, the state prohibits the possession, use, and sale of what are referred to as “assault pistols.” If you are someone who is caught owning, using, or selling one of these assault pistols, you will most likely face harsh consequences, including up to three years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $5,000. Some examples of assault pistols are as follows:

  • AA Arms AP-9 semiautomatic pistol

  • A.W.S. type semiautomatic pistol

  • Skorpion semiautomatic pistol

  • Spectre double-action semiautomatic pistol (Sile, F.I.E., Mitchell)

  • UZI semiautomatic pistol

  • Weaver Arms semiautomatic Nighthawk pistol

  • Wilkinson semiautomatic “Linda” pistol

  • Bushmaster semiautomatic pistol

  • Claridge HI-TEC semiautomatic pistol

  • D Max Industries semiautomatic pistol

  • Ingram MAC 10/11 semiautomatic pistol

  • Partisan Avenger and the SWD Cobray

  • Intratec TEC-9/DC-9 semiautomatic pistol in any centerfire variation

  • Encom MK-IV, MP-9, or MP-45 semiautomatic pistol

  • Heckler and Koch semiautomatic SP-89 pistol

  • Holmes MP-83 semiautomatic pistol

How to Get a Handgun Permit in Maryland

To apply for a handgun in Maryland, you will have to do several things. First, you must have your digital fingerprints taken at a Maryland fingerprint processing center. From here, you will submit those digital fingerprints to the Maryland State Police. Next, you will submit your application to the Maryland State Police for the Maryland Handgun Qualification License. From here, you will complete the 4-hour Firearms Safety Training Course. At this point, you will receive your HQL card. Then, you will receive your HQL card, and verify it with a firearm dealer. Finally, you will complete your application to purchase a handgun, have that application submitted by a dealer to the Maryland State Police, and after waiting seven days, that application should be approved, and you will be allowed to purchase the gun from the dealer. At this point, the dealer will transfer the gun to you, and you will own your handgun. To apply for a handgun in Maryland, please click here.


What Happens if I am Denied a Gun Permit in Maryland?

Unfortunately, there are several scenarios in which an individual will wrongly have denied his/her right to own a handgun in the state of Maryland. If this has happened to you, you will need to hire an experienced attorney who is ready to defend your Second Amendment rights.

Check our SWAT training here

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