Maryland has stringent gun laws, including those related to open carry in the state.

It is, therefore, essential that you understand the gun laws of the state, especially if you intend to possess a firearm for open carry.

Also, you have to be familiar with regulations in counties where you reside or want to possess firearms.

Maryland Gun Law Summary

To use handguns within Maryland, you must apply for a Maryland wear/carry handgun license.

The state’s department of police is in charge of the application process, and Maryland is a Shall-Issue state.

You must have a probable reason (which now includes personal protection) to carry a firearm before you apply for the handgun permit.

To buy handguns, you must obtain a purchase permit and complete the criminal record background check.

Also, your carry permit does not exempt you from completing a criminal record background check.

Is Open Carry Legal In Maryland?

Yes, it is legal to open carry in Maryland, but you must have a state permit to do so.

However, there are restrictions to open carry in Maryland, and you must also understand local area ordinances before doing so.

Open Carry Laws In Maryland

Maryland is a licensed open carry state with a may-issue permit. This means that if you do not have the state carry permit, you cannot open carry in the state.

The state does not have restrictions for assault weapons, but you must not make use of a machine gun offensively.

The state also requires that to use a machine gun, you must register it within twenty-four hours of acquisition.  

Maryland Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.YesYesYou must obtain a permit before you open carry in Maryland.
Firearm registrations for open carry.YesYesYou must register firearms in Maryland after purchase. A new resident must register his/her gun at least three months after establishing a residency in the state.
Assault weapon for open carry.YesYesYou can make use of firearms and semi-automatic firearms as long as you register it, and you are using it for the right reasons.
Magazine limitYesYesYou must not own a handgun or any other firearm that has more than that ten rounds magazine limit.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredMaryland does not have any requirements for owners of firearms to own a license.
Red flag lawYesYesLaw courts can issue a protection or restriction order for possession of firearms in the state to a person that is suicidal or a threat.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesThe state has castle doctrine policy and a no duty to retreat in dwelling places.
Background check for private dealersYesYesA background check is compulsory for every purchase of a firearm in the state. Private dealers of firearms must complete the check through a state or federally licensed dealer.
PreemptionYesYesMaryland preempts all gun laws in the state. But local areas can regulate the possessions of dangerous weapons in their territory
Concealed carry permit.NoYesTo conceal carry in Maryland, you must obtain the state’s concealed carry permit.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesTo conceal carry in your personal vehicle, you must be with your permit.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoMaryland prohibits the possession of firearms in public schools, colleges, and universities.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Maryland?

Maryland gun laws permit the possession of firearms and open carry in the following places.

  • Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in restaurants and bars except there is a sign prohibiting such.
  • Personal vehicle: You can open carry in your car, but you must be with your Maryland permit to carry firearms.
  • Wildlife management areas: You can open carry in wildlife management areas in the state.
  • Places of worship: You can open carry in churches, mosques, synagogues, and any other worship place in the state, as long as no signs are prohibiting the possession of firearms on the premises.

Where Is It Illegal To Possess Firearms In Maryland?

Maryland gun statutes prohibit the possession of firearms and open carry in the following areas of the state:

  • Schools: You cannot open carry in schools owned by the state government.
  • Child care center: You cannot open carry in child care, daycare, or any building used for such activity.
  • State parks and forests: You cannot open carry in parks and forests within the territory of Maryland.
  • Rest areas: You cannot possess a firearm or open carry in a rest area along the state highway.
  • Airport: You cannot open carry in state airports or on a commercial plane.
  • Hotels and lodging place: You cannot possess firearms or open carry in hotels or any lodging establishment where the management has previously notified you about the prohibition of weapons.
  • Rehab centers: You cannot open carry in any state rehabilitation center or facilities used for adult care.
  • Public places: You cannot open carry in public buildings or grounds in the state.
  • Buildings used by the state senate: You cannot open carry in any building or location the state senate uses for its activities, or where they have a chamber.
  • Buildings used by general assembly: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in any building used for hearing by members of the state’s general assembly.
  • While under the influence: You cannot open carry in any area of Maryland while you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substance.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot possess firearms or open carry in any area prohibited by federal laws of the state.

FAQs About Open Carry Maryland

Here are Maryland open carry most frequently asked questions in the state:

Must I Obtain A Firearm Permit Before Open Carry In Maryland?

Yes. Open carry in Maryland is only legal for permit holders in the state.

Can I Open Carry With The Same Permit Used For Concealed Carry In Maryland?

Yes. Maryland wear/carry handgun permit can be used for both concealed and open carry of firearms in the state.

What Is The Age Requirement For Open Carry In Maryland?

You must be at least twenty-one years old before you open carry in Maryland.

What Is The Age Requirement For Concealed Carry In Maryland?

To conceal carry in Maryland, you must be at least twenty-one years old, or eighteen years old for employment reasons.

At What Age Can I Apply For Maryland Firearm Carry Permit?

The age requirement to apply for Maryland carry permit is twenty-one years old and eighteen years old for employment reasons.

Does Maryland Have A Red Flag Law?

Yes. A court of law in the state will issue a protection or restriction order for the possession, sales, and purchase of firearms to a person considered a threat.

Is Maryland Carry Application Valid For Non-residents OF The State?

Yes. Residents and non-residents of Maryland can apply for the state carry permit.

You can also use a firearm permit from any state that has a reciprocity deal with Maryland.

Is Maryland A Constitutional Carry State?

No. Maryland does not accept constitutional carry in the state.

Can I Open Carry Knives In Maryland?

Maryland prohibits the open carry of knives for committing a crime or harming anyone.

Knives are prohibited from schools, and local areas in the state also have restrictions for knives and other weapons.

Maryland laws do not prohibit concealed carry of knives in the state. You can use knives like throwing stars, dirks, switchblades, etc.

Does Maryland Restrict Types Of Firearms In The State?

Maryland gun statues do not have any firearm prohibition. However, assault weapons like machine guns are treated differently in the state.

It is a prohibition to possess assault firearms for offensive or aggressive reasons, and you must register a machine gun in not less than twenty-four hours after buying it.

Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In Maryland?

Yes. Nobody can buy a handgun in Maryland without a purchase permit issued by the state.

Must I Complete A Criminal Record Background Check Before Buying Firearms In Maryland?

Yes. Maryland gun statues mandate that everyone that wants to buy a handgun in the state must complete a criminal record background check.

After How Many Years Will My Maryland Firearm Carry Permit Expire?

Initial permits in the state are valid for just two years, while successive permits last for three years, after which you can apply for a renewal permit.

Must I Inform A Police Officer About My Possession Of Firearms In Maryland?

No gun law in the state mandates a person in possession of firearms to notify law enforcement officers about it.

Does Maryland Have A Castle Doctrine Law In The State?

Yes. In Maryland, there is no duty to retreat when attacked by an intruder when you are in your home of residence.

Does Maryland Permit The Use Of Deadly Force?

Yes. You can make use of deadly or excessive force in the following situations.

  • When defending yourself from an attack that could lead to bodily harm or imminent death.
  • When you have reasons to believe that you are in danger of a felony crime.
  • When you are not the aggressor or invoker of a deadly attack.
  • Note that the deadly force used must be reasonable and not more than the exigency demanded.

Must I Complete A Criminal Record Background Check Before Applying For Concealed Carry Permit?

Yes. You must complete a state-approved firearm training requirement that is a sixteen hours course with a live-fire session.

Are There Requirements To Register Firearms After Purchase In The State?

Yes, you must register handguns in the state before using them.

New residents must complete this registration in not more than ninety days after gaining residency in Maryland.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Maryland

Here are some of Maryland gun statutes related to open carry in the state.

Magazine Limit For Firearms

It is a prohibition to manufacture, sell, purchase, handle, or possess any firearm that has a removable magazine of more than ten rounds capacity.

The only exception for this is members of the law enforcement officers who can use caliber rifles or and magazines with tubes.

Preemption Laws

Maryland has preemption laws on all gun statues.

Regardless of this, counties and municipalities can still regulate the use of firearms within their territories.

Most local areas prohibit the use of a firearm in parks, schools, public places, or the state’s house of assembly.

The closest you can be with your firearms in these places is one thousand feet.

Red Flag Law

Section five of the state public safety statute enforces red flag law in Maryland.

The law permits people like family members, medical practitioners, or law enforcement officers in the state to submit petitions to prohibit the possession, buying, selling, and handling of firearms for a person deemed fit as a threat.

A judge will issue a protection or restriction order after receiving such a petition.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Section three of the state’s criminal law states that nobody shall deliberately cause any physical harm to another person.

The state also prohibits anybody from committing an assault with any type of firearm or weapon.

Possession Of Firearms Under The Influence Of Alcohol

Maryland gun statutes prohibit the possession of firearms in the state while under the influence of alcohol.

Open Carry While Hunting In The State

Yes, you can open carry during a legal hunting activity in Maryland.

Although you can open carry while bow hunting in the state, you must meet the following requirements to do so:

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old.
  • You must carry the firearm for just personal protection.

Maryland has hunter harassment for the protection of such activities in the state. They include the following:

  • Nobody shall deliberately interfere with any legal hunting activity in any wildlife area of the state.
  • Nobody shall harass or disturb any wildlife animal to prevent a lawful hunting activity in the state.

Additional Resources

Maryland Gun Laws
Maryland Concealed Carry Laws
Maryland Gun Permit Laws

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