Maryland State Seal

Maryland Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my Maryland permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
24k
Permits Issued
0
STATES HONORED
26
RECIPROCATING STATES
6M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
11
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
0.4%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
Varies
YEARS PERMIT VALID
74
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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Summary of Maryland Gun Laws

Maryland is a may-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the state police.

A permit to purchase, a background check and firearms registration are required to buy a handgun from a private individual. 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. 

Open and concealed carry are legal in Maryland only for Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP) holders. In order to obtain a WCHP, applicants must be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old for employment purposes only) 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. An additional eight hours of training is required at each WCHP renewal. Permits are issued to residents and non-residents. Some areas are off-limits, including rest areas and state parks. In terms of reciprocity,  Maryland does not honor permits from any other states.

Maryland is a Castle Doctrine state. In a person’s home, they do not need to retreat, but can stand their ground and attempt to defeat or deter an invader. In Maryland, deadly force is only legal when defending one’s self from the immediate threat of serious injury or death. A person must have reasonable grounds to believe himself or herself in apparent imminent or immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm from his or her assailant or potential assailant; must have in fact believed himself or herself in this danger; must not have been the aggressor or provoked the conflict; and the force used must have not been unreasonable and excessive, that is, the force must not have been more force than the exigency demanded. Maryland has a duty to retreat law which requires people who are outside of their home to retreat or avoid danger if possible before using deadly force to defend themselves. There is no duty to retreat inside one’s home.

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Maryland Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Maryland allow constitutional carry?

No. Maryland does not allow constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Maryland?

Yes. Open carry is allowed with a Maryland WCHP.

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Maryland requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Maryland is a may issue state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Maryland to get a concealed carry permit?

You must be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old for employment purposes only) to get a concealed carry permit in Maryland.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Maryland with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. A person may not carry weapons other than handguns, even with a WCHP.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Maryland?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. The minimum age to purchase is 18 years old, and a background check is required to verify that the purchaser has not been convicted of specific crimes. Instructions must be provided to the purchaser and the manufacturer must maintain a record of the original owner of the electronic control device.

[Criminal Law § 4-109]

Under Maryland law, it's illegal to carry a dangerous weapon unless you:

  • are a public official authorized to carry the weapon;
  • have a permit to carry a handgun; or
  • ​​​​​​​are carrying the weapon as a reasonable precaution against perceived danger and don’t intend to hurt someone else in an unlawful way.

Although the law does not specifically mention electronic control devices, they could be considered dangerous weapons.

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Maryland?

Yes, individuals may carry pepper spray or mace as a reasonable precaution against possible danger. However, a person may not wear or carry a dangerous weapon, chemical mace, pepper mace or a tear gas device openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in an unlawful manner.

In order to purchase pepper spray in Baltimore you must be at least 18 years old and not be a convicted felon.

[Criminal Law § 4-101(b)(4)]

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Maryland issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes. Maryland grants permits to non-residents.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Maryland allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No. Maryland does not permit the public access to concealed carry registry information.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Maryland?

Only with a Maryland WCHP. 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, a shooting sporting event or between a residence and place of business if substantially owned and operated by the person. For interstate transportation, firearms 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.

[Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-203(b)(2)]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Maryland?

No. The display of firearms is prohibited.

[Md. Admin. Code § 11.04.07.12]

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Maryland?

No for state/national parks and state/national forests.

[Md. Admin. Code § 08.01.07.14Md. Admin. Code § 08.07.06.04

Yes, with a Maryland WCHP for WMAs.

[Md. Admin. Code § 10-408(d)

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Maryland?

Yes, with a Maryland WCHP, unless posted and provided you are not under the influence.

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Maryland have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in Maryland state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Maryland?

No. You are not required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Maryland.

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Maryland have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

A person may not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, purchase, receive or transfer a detachable magazine that has a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a firearm.

There is an exemption for .22 caliber rifles with tubular magazines and for law enforcement officers (LEOs) or retired LEOs.

[Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-305]

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Maryland have ammunition restrictions?

No. Maryland does not have ammunition restrictions.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Maryland? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No. Not mentioned in state statutes.

Preemption?

Does Maryland have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. There is full state preemption of all gun laws. However, municipalities may regulate firearms and ammunition in, or within 100 yards of, a park, church, school, public building and other place of public assembly.

[Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-209]

Red Flag Law?

Does Maryland have a red flag law?

Yes. A variety of people, including family members, cohabitants, medical professionals and law enforcement are allowed to petition for an order to surrender to law enforcement authorities any firearm and ammunition in the respondent’s possession; and prohibit the respondent from purchasing or possessing any firearm or ammunition for the duration of the interim extreme risk protective order.

[Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-601(E)(2)]

Brandishing?

Does Maryland state law define brandishing?

No. However, a person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.

A person may not commit an assault with a firearm, including a handgun, antique firearm, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle.

[Md. Code. Crim. Law § 3-202]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Prescription Medication?

Does Maryland have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Yes, but not while under the influence in Maryland.

[Md. Admin. Code §5–314]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Maryland?

Yes, for handguns.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Maryland?

Yes. All private transfers of handguns and assault weapons must be processed through a licensed dealer or designated law enforcement agency, which must conduct a background check on the buyer.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Maryland?

Yes. Seven days for handguns and assault weapons.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Maryland?

Yes, for handguns. New Maryland residents must register all regulated firearms with the Secretary of the Maryland Department of State Police within 90 days after establishing residency.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Maryland?

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Maryland?

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in Maryland?

Yes, but only While Bow Hunting in Deer Management Region A.

(2) The Department may not prohibit a licensed bow hunter from openly carrying a handgun that the hunter is otherwise authorized to carry under § 4-203 of the Criminal Law Article if the bow hunter:
(i) Is at least 21 years old;
(ii) Is hunting in deer management Region A as defined by the Department's Guide to Hunting and Trapping;
(iii) Is carrying the handgun for personal protection; and
(iv) Does not use the handgun to kill wildlife wounded by a vertical bow or crossbow.

[Nat. Resources Code § 10-408(b)(2)]

Hunter Harassment Law?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Maryland?

Yes. While on private land that is owned by another person or in a hunting area on land managed by the Department, a person may not:

  • Interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person;  or
  • Harass, drive, or disturb any game animal intentionally for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt.

[Nat. Resources Code § 10-422]

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State Constitutional Provision
That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole; and they have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their Form of Government in such manner as they may deem expedient. -Article 1, Section 1"
MARYLAND HAS NO CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION GRANTING A RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.

Maryland Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Maryland honor?

Maryland does not honor any other states’ permits/licenses.


Other States' Reciprocity With Maryland

Which states honor permits from Maryland?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Maryland

Michigan (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Texas (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Maryland Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old (an applicant between 18 and 21 years of age may only be issued a wear and carry permit to possess a regulated firearm required for employment);
  • Be a citizen of the United States or legal resident alien;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year;
  • Not have been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence;
  • Not be subject to a restraining order or other similar court order;
  • Not have been committed within the previous 10 years to any juvenile detention center for longer than 1 year;
  • Not be a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance or determined to be of unsound mind;
  • Not have a mental illness;
  • Not have received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution or similar treatment facility for any reason;
  • Not, based on the results of investigation, exhibit a propensity for violence or instability;
  • Not be a fugitive from justice;
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces;
  • Not be subject to a firearms seizure order;
  • Show good cause as to why he or she needs a firearm; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit $75

Renewal  $50

Valid For:

Initial permits expire on the last day of the holder’s birth month following 2 years after the date the permit is issued and may be renewed for successive periods of 3 years each.

Processing Time:

90 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Maryland will grant permits to non-residents. Non-residents use the same process as residents.

Name/Address Changes:

You must notify the Licensing Division of address changes, in writing, within 30 days of any change. You must mail this change to:

Maryland State Police
Licensing Division
1111 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208
ATTN: Handgun Permit Unit

Lost/Stolen Permits:

You must submit a notarized letter advising the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the permit. Submit a $10 check or money order and one passport-sized photograph taken within the last 30 days. If you are a security guard, private detective, armored car guard or special police officer, also provide a company letter from your current employer verifying your employment.​


Maryland Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Maryland Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a state-approved firearm training course; 16 hours are required.

Step 2:

Get fingerprints taken at an Electronic Fingerprint Processing Center authorized by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Step 3:

Complete your application using the online licensing portal. As of October 1, 2019, paper applications will be rejected and returned to the applicant with instructions to submit the Wear and Carry Permit application via the licensing portal. You will need the following:

  • A copy of your firearms training certificate;
  • 2 passport-style color photographs of yourself from the past 30 days;
  • Electronic fingerprints; and
  • Application fee.
Step 4:

You will be notified by mail within 90 days whether your application has been approved or denied.


Firearms Training Requirements in Maryland

To qualify for a handgun permit, applicants must successfully complete, prior to application and each renewal, a firearms training course approved by the Secretary of State Police that includes:

  • For an initial application, a minimum of 16 hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor; or
  • For a renewal application, 8 hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor.

The training includes classroom instruction on state firearms law, home firearms safety, and handgun mechanisms and operation. A firearms qualification component is also required that demonstrates the applicant’s proficiency and use of the firearm with a minimum score of 70% accuracy. There are training exemptions for law enforcement officers, members of the military and qualified handgun instructors.

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Find a Shooting Range in Maryland


Maryland Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Maryland Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

A handgun permit may be renewed for successive periods of 3 years each. The renewal process should be started no less than 90 business days from expiration of the permit. If the Licensing Division does not receive the renewal application, satisfactorily completed, by the expiration date, the applicant must begin as a new applicant and complete all requirements necessary for an initial application.

Step 2:

Complete an 8 hour firearms training course within 2 years of submitting your renewal application.

Step 3:

Complete your application using the online licensing portal. As of October 1, 2019, paper applications will be rejected and returned to the applicant with instructions to submit the Wear and Carry Permit application via the licensing portal. You will need the following:

  • A copy of your firearms training certificate;
  • 2 passport-style color photographs of yourself from the past 30 days; and
  • The application fee.
Step 4:

You will be notified by mail within 90 days whether your application has been approved or denied.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details, check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

LEOs and RLEOs are exempt from the Maryland prohibition on purchasing high-capacity magazines. Active and retired Maryland and Federal LEOs are not required to obtain a handgun qualification license (HQL) to purchase a handgun. However, out-of-state retired and active LEOs living in Maryland must obtain an HQL but are exempt from the training requirements. The MD Police and Correctional Training Commissions issues firearm certifications to Maryland residents whom they train. RLEOS must have a retired/separated LEO ID card. The New LEOSA Training Packet has details.   

The Maryland Department of State Police only provides an identification card to carry a concealed handgun to State of Maryland qualified separated law enforcement officers who have separated from the Maryland Department of State Police.


Maryland Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Maryland?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? No.
  • Carry in WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Maryland?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license


FAQ: Maryland Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in Maryland?

There are no limitations on the types of knives you can own in Maryland. You cannot concealed carry a throwing star, dirk, switchblade, gravity knife or bowie knife. You can not open carry a throwing star, dirk, switchblade, gravity knife or bowie knife with the intent to harm someone. All knives are banned from Maryland schools.


Maryland Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-10-31

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-15

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Updated Permit Info and Application info with new online licensing portal details

2019-09-06

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-25

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-01

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-18

Links checked

2019-03-28

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-03-06

Clarified high capacity magazine limitations in the At A Glance table per info from a member (thanks!)

2019-02-20

Added info and a link to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2019-02-15

Added pages on https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/ for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-01-25

Links checked

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

2018-12-13

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

2018-11-30

Added parking lot storage info to At A Glance table

2018-11-26

Added links

2018-10-22

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Maryland

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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.

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