Maryland Gun Laws: What You Need to Know

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As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on gun laws.

Maryland gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Maryland gun laws. (Not from Maryland? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state!)

Can You Carry a Gun in Maryland?

Yes. Maryland is a may-issue state, with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the state police. Open and concealed carry are legal in Maryland only for Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP) holders. In order to obtain a WCHP, an applicant must be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old if the gun is for employment purposes only) and must show a good and substantial reason to carry a handgun. Maryland does not honor concealed carry permits from any other state.

Is Maryland an Open Carry State?

Yes and no. The Maryland firearms/handgun permit statute doesn’t distinguish between open carry and concealed carry. It states that a “person shall have a permit issued under this subtitle before the person carries, wears or transports a handgun.” Therefore, open carry is technically legal. However, since open carry is not common, anyone seen openly carrying by a law enforcement officer may be stopped and questioned.

Do You Need a Gun License to Buy a Gun in Maryland? Is There a Requirement to Register Handguns?

Yes. A permit to purchase, a background check and firearms registration are required to buy a handgun from a private individual in Maryland. Private firearms sellers must process transfers of handguns and assault weapons through a licensed dealer or designated law enforcement agency, who then conducts a background check. In addition, Maryland has established a handgun roster that, subject to limited exceptions, lists the only handguns that dealers or any private sellers are allowed to sell in the state. New Maryland residents must register all regulated firearms with the Secretary of the Maryland Department of State Police within 90 days after establishing residency.

Is Maryland a Gun-Free Zone?

No. Maryland is not a gun-free zone. However, there are a number of locations that are off-limits even with a Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit. These include public schools, child care centers, state parks, state forests and national forests, state highway rest areas, and state-owned public buildings and grounds.

How Old Do You Have to Be in Maryland to Get a Gun License?

In order to obtain a Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit, an applicant must be at least 21 years old and must show a good and substantial reason to carry a handgun. WCHPs require a state-approved 16-hour firearms training course that includes live-fire training.

Can You Carry a Gun in Your Car in Maryland?

Yes, only with a Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit. Without a permit, Maryland has restrictions for legal transport of firearms within/through Maryland. Handguns can only be transported between residences, to and from a repair shop or a shooting sporting event, or between a residence and place of business if substantially owned and operated by the person. For interstate transportation, a firearm must be unloaded and in an enclosed case or enclosed holster with neither the firearm nor any ammunition readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment. In the case the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked compartment other than the glove compartment or console.

Ready to Learn More About Maryland Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Maryland’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Maryland gun laws page now…

 The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.