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Maryland is one of the states with the strictest gun laws in the United States of America.

The state has now become a Shall-Issue state due to the landmark Supreme court ruling on June 23rd, 2022 and is now issuing CCW permits for personal protection.

However, they still remain very strict with their firearm laws, especially concealed carry.

For example, you need to complete a criminal background check, a handgun registration, and obtain a purchase permit before you can purchase a handgun.

Because of these strict laws, you do not have any margin for error while applying for Maryland CCW permits.   

Maryland Gun Laws

If you have Maryland’s Wear or Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP), you can conceal carry a firearm anywhere in the state.

Only people that are twenty-one years old or more are allowed to apply for a CCW permit unless it is needed for employment purposes. In this case, you must be at least eighteen years old.

You must also undergo the compulsory firearm training course and fulfill all aspects of the concealed carry course needed to get a certificate.

Maryland issues permit to both residents and non-residents of the state, as long as they meet all the CCW permit requirements.

Maryland CCW Reciprocity

Maryland does not reciprocate with any other state in terms of CCW permits.

Therefore, if you do not have a Maryland CCW permit, you cannot conceal carry in the state.

Other aspects of Maryland reciprocity include the following:

  • States that honor a CCW permit from Maryland: These states will allow you to conceal carry in their territory with a Maryland CCW permit. There are nine of them.
  • States that have restricted reciprocity with Maryland: These states will only accept a resident-only permit from Maryland. If you have a non-residents permit from Maryland, you cannot conceal carry with it in these states. There are three of them.
  • States that operate on a permitless carry: You do not require any CCW permit to conceal carry in these states. But you have to meet the age requirement of the state, and respect other firearms restriction policies. There are fourteen of them.

Every state has its gun law and concealed carry policies. 

These laws are reviewed from time to time, and it is your responsibility to be aware of them if you wish to conceal carry in the state.

As a non-resident in another state, either visiting or for a short stay, if you must conceal carry or possess your weapon, you have to get familiar with the state’s law.

Also, have it at the back of your mind that the laws in other states are not entirely the same as your state of resident laws.

Maryland CCW Location Restriction

There are location restrictions enacted in every state’s gun law, and Maryland is not an exception.

So, whether you have a permit of not, you cannot conceal carry or possess a weapon in these places.

Some of these restricted places will, however, make it easy for you by carrying signage that prohibits the use of a weapon.

Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In Maryland

  • You cannot conceal carry in public schools.
  • You cannot conceal carry in a childcare center or any building used for daycare.
  • You cannot conceal carry in state parks.
  • You cannot conceal carry in state and national forest areas.
  • You cannot conceal carry in a commercial airplane.
  • You cannot conceal carry in a rest area that has a post prohibiting the possession of firearms.
  • You cannot conceal carry in hotels or any other lodging house that has notified you of CCW prohibition either with a post or orally.
  • You cannot conceal carry in dredge boats.
  • You cannot conceal carry in an adult care home or a rehabilitation center for aged people.
  • You cannot conceal carry in a building or property owned by the state government.
  • You cannot conceal carry in building or property where the senate has a chamber.
  • You cannot conceal carry in any building or property where an employee or a member of the General assembly has a hearing or an office.
  • You cannot conceal carry in public places such as parks, churches, schools, locations for general assembly, etc. The closest you must be with your gun to these places is one thousand feet.
  • You cannot conceal carry anywhere if you are under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
  • You cannot conceal carry in places prohibited by the federal government

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Maryland

Maryland gun restrictions do not prohibit you from conceal carrying in these places or situations:

  • Restaurants and bars that serve alcohol, as long as you are not under the influence.
  • You can carry in wildlife management areas.
  • You can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you are with your Maryland CCW permit.
  • You can conceal carry in places of worship as long as there is not post that prohibits the usage of firearms.

Conceal Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In Maryland

Officers of the law, either active, retired, or out of service for honorable reasons, are allowed to conceal carry by federal laws of the United States.

Hence, law enforcement officers do not have CCW permits restrictions or location restrictions to conceal carry in any jurisdiction of the country, regardless of state laws.

In Maryland, this law exempts law enforcement officers from buying high-grade firearms or going through Maryland concealed carry permits application.

However, law enforcement officers that live in Maryland are obligated to pass a firearm training course before they can conceal carry.

Upon meeting this requirement, the Maryland police and the correctional training commission will provide a certificate.

Certifications are also available for residents of the state that undergo the training program.

Retired officers in Maryland must have the retired law enforcement ID card.

Law enforcement officers in Maryland that are separated from the police department will get identification cards from the state police. 

Buying and Selling Of Firearms In Maryland

Maryland has stringent gun laws for sales, purchase, and transfer.

To deal with guns in the state, you must be aware of these laws. This is how you can steer clear of trouble from law enforcement officers.

Purchasing Permits

Even with a Maryland CCW permit, you need a Handgun Qualification License (HQL) to purchase a firearm in the state.

Background Check And Handgun Registration

A background check is an important criterion to purchase a firearm in Maryland.

Private gun sellers will not sell you a firearm. Until they complete a background check through a state or federally licensed dealer, or the law enforcement agency meant to do this.

Furthermore, you cannot transfer firearms to someone that is a prohibited buyer or does not meet other law requirements to buy a gun.

After the sale of a firearm, a private seller must also send all transaction details to the state secretary within one week of selling the gun.

Upon the purchase of a firearm, you must register your firearm to the Maryland Department of State Police. 

Also, new residents of the state must register their gun not more than three months after changing residency.

Also, you cannot sell and buy guns that are not in the state handgun roster.

Waiting Period For The Purchase Of Firearm

Before the sales of a firearm can be complete in Maryland, a waiting period of seven days is required.

Minimum Age To Deal With Firearm In Maryland

You must be at least twenty-one years old before you can buy, sell, transport, or transfer a firearm in Maryland.

Possession Of A Firearm On A Private Property

You are lawfully allowed to possess a firearm in your home or a real estate that you lease.

This law includes within the confinement of your business or establishment.

Maryland Handgun Purchasing Process

Before you can buy, transfer, or lease a firearm in Maryland, you must have the HQL.

You can complete the application for HQL online. Visit the state police website to download and complete the application form.

Note that no physical application is accepted.

Within three years after getting your HQL, you must complete Maryland concealed carry course. A certified instructor of the state must teach this training.

You can equally apply for USCCA training if it meets all the requirements stated by the Maryland safety training course, and the instructor is a state-licensed one.

Maryland concealed carry online is also an excellent option for you.

If you are a member of the military, a qualified firearm instructor, or you have completed any of the Maryland hunter courses, you may not have to undergo any other firearm training.

You also need your fingerprint to complete the HQL application. An exception to this is if you have a Maryland CCW permit already.

Provide your email before submitting your application. Upon submission, you will get a mail message with your application number and PIN.

Take both numbers with you to the state police station or a licensed firearm dealer to complete your application process.

After completing this application, the next step is forwarding to the Maryland licensing department.

Within seven days, you will receive an email to notify you of HQL approval or rejection.

If your HQL is approved, you can proceed to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Finally, thirty days after completing the application and paying the required fees, your HQL will be mailed to you. The HQL is valid for ten years.

Castle Doctrine In Maryland

Maryland has a castle doctrine policy, and this is an essential law of the state.

The law allows you to stand your ground with no duty to retreat when faced with an intruder. Therefore, you can attempt to fight off to pursue or defeat such intruder.

Maryland Castle doctrine allows you to use a deadly force for self-defense and protection against an imminent injury or death.

However, the use of such deadly force must be on reasonable grounds. You must have a complete belief, and be without any iota of doubt that the threat you face can lead to potentially severe harm or danger of death.

Other important things to know about the castle doctrine rule include the following:

  • You must be in danger before using excessive force.
  • You must not be the instigator or provoke the situation that led to the threat.
  • The force used but not be more than the crisis that the situation warranted.

Maryland castle doctrine only applies in your home or place of abode. If you are outside your home, you have to retreat and escape from the situation before the use of a deadly force.

Maryland CCW Permit Requirement

Before Maryland concealed carry permit application, you must meet all requirements. Failure to do so means rejection of your CCW permit.

The requirements include the following:

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old. If you are between the age of eighteen and twenty-one, you may only apply for a CCW permit on employment grounds.
  • You must be a legal citizen of the United States.
  • You must not be a felony or convicted of any crime that is punishable by serving a jail term of more than one year.
  • You must not commit any crime that has to do with violence. This requirement includes domestic violence.
  • You must not have any court restraining order.
  • You must not be involved in juvenile delinquency for more than one year within the past ten years.
  • You must not be a narcotic, a drunkard, or user of any substance that is controlled by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
  • You must be of sound mind, and not diagnosed with any mental illness.
  • You must not be under treatment from a psychiatric hospital or any mental home.
  • You must not be guilty of any investigation that shows that you have a tendency to invoke violence or that you are unstable.
  • You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.
  • You must not be dismissed from the United States Armed Forces due to any dishonorable character.
  • You must not be subject to the forfeiture of firearms.
  • You must have a good reason to possess a CCW.
  • You must not meet all federal requirement to obtain a CCW permit

How To Apply For Maryland CCW Permit

Now that you know the requirements to meet, the next thing is applying for your Maryland CCW permit.

The steps include the following:

Complete Firearm Course

You need first to complete a sixteen hours Maryland concealed carry permit training.

Provide Fingerprints

Get your fingerprints taken by the Department of Public Safety processing services.

Provide The Necessary Documents

Visit the state police online portal to complete your application. Paper applications are invalid.

  • Other documents to provide include:
  • Your firearm training certificate
  • Your Passport photograph,.taken in the last thirty days
  • Your electronic fingerprint
  • The required fee.

Get Notification Mail

You will get a notification about the approval or rejection of your CCW application

Maryland Concealed Carry FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about Maryland CCW.

How Long Is A CCW Permit Valid For?

After two years of getting your first Maryland CCW permit, it will expire on the last day of your birth month.

Upon renewal, the permit will be valid for three years.

How Much Is Maryland CCW Permit Application?

An initial permit costs seventy-five dollars while a renewal costs fifty dollars.

How Long Will It Take To Get A CCW Permit?

Maryland CCW permit has a processing period of ninety days.

Can I Get A Maryland Non-resident Permit?

Maryland issues both residents and non-residents permits. Both have the same process.

Additional Resources

Maryland Gun Laws
Maryland Open Carry Laws
Maryland Gun Permit Laws

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