Maryland Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Maryland.

In Maryland, adults may openly carry long guns in public without a permit. However, you must obtain a permit to carry a handgun (openly or concealed) on or near your body, or on property you own or lease. (Md. Ann. Code § 5-303.)

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Maryland.

How to Obtain a Handgun Permit in Maryland

To obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must apply at the police or sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:

  • be at least 21 years old, and
  • have completed a firearms safety training course.

Additionally, you must NOT:

  • have been convicted of a disqualifying crime
  • be a fugitive from justice
  • be a “habitual drunkard”
  • be addicted to and a user of a controlled substance
  • have spent more than 30 consecutive days in a medical institution for a mental disorder (unless you have a doctor’s letter dated within 30 days of the application, certifying that you would not pose undue danger to yourself or others if you possessed a firearm)
  • have certain lawsuits pending against you, and
  • have committed certain juvenile crimes that would have been a disqualifying crime if you had been an adult at the time the crime was committed, and you are younger than 30 years old at the time of the application.

Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they have a “good and substantial” reason to carry a handgun.

(Md. Ann. Code § § 5-118, 306.)

Proposed legislation in the current legislative session would qualify self-defense as a “good and substantial” reason for obtaining a concealed handgun permit. If the law is enacted, it will go into effect October 2015.

Does Maryland Recognize Concealed Handgun Permits From Other States?

No. Maryland does not recognize concealed handgun permits from other states.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Handgun Permit

Penalties for illegally carrying a firearm in Maryland include a fine at least $250 (and up to $2,500), at least 30 days in jail (and up to three years in prison), or both.

A second conviction incurs at least one (and up to ten) years in prison. Third and subsequent convictions incur at least three (and up to ten) years in prison.

(Md. Ann. Code § 4-203.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Maryland, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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