ATTENTION GUN OWNERS & FUTURE GUN OWNERS: GET CONCEALED CARRY CERTIFIED BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

Maryland Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything you need to know about owning a firearm in the state of Maryland

Maryland State Seal

Maryland Reciprocity Map

Last Updated: 2021

Maryland Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview

6M

STATE POPULATION

28K

LICENSES ISSUED

0.47%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

0

STATES HONORED

21

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

VARIES

YEARS LICENSE VALID

26

RECIPROCATING STATES

NO

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

4

CC CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

Responsible firearms ownership starts with understanding the gun rights and state laws that apply to you as a Maryland resident. The population of Maryland is 6.1 million as of October 2021, and the state has one of the stricter stances on distributing concealed carry licenses. Around 28,000 concealed carry in Maryland, which equates to only 0.45% of the population.

Understanding how your gun rights translate across state lines (also known as reciprocity) is an important aspect of Maryland concealed carry. Maryland has reciprocity agreements with 26 states but doesn’t honor licenses or permits from any other state.  A Maryland concealed carry permit is valid for two years, and the minimum age to have one is 21.

You need an education partner you can trust if you’re interested in obtaining your Maryland concealed carry license. Concealed Coalition has trained over a million U.S. citizens on how to carry their weapons safely and effectively. Contact us to find online or local training to get your concealed carry license.

Maryland Reciprocity and Concealed Carry Permitting

Summary of Maryland Gun Laws

Your Maryland Gun Rights

Maryland is a may-issue state, meaning that meeting the necessary criteria for firearms ownership doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive a license. Concealed carry licenses are distributed at the state level via the secretary of the MSP, who must decide whether applicants meet sufficient standards by:

  • Having sufficient reason to carry or transport a firearm, such as protection against a legitimate danger
  • Having no history of unstable or violent tendencies
  • Having no criminal history of felony or certain misdemeanors
  • Not being a user, addict, or distributor of controlled substances

Maryland has a handgun roster that dictates the firearms legally permitted for dealership or private sales in the state. (Here’s the list of disapproved firearms). Guns may be purchased from licensed dealers or private individuals, with the latter requiring firearms registration, a purchase permit, and a background check. 

Background checks are also conducted during private sales since the seller must conduct the transfer through law enforcement or a licensed dealer. Consult the online list if you’re in any doubt whether a firearms manufacturer is on the approved handgun roster.

A person may not receive, purchase, or rent a handgun unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) issued by the Maryland State Police or qualify for exemption status.

Gun rights can differ when crossing state lines and even within your state. This makes a working understanding of your home rules crucial. Maryland residents should always contact the Maryland State Police (MSP) for the latest concealed carry information.

Open Carry in Maryland

Individuals must have their Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP) and meet state age requirements of 21 years or 18 if open carry is a factor in their job.

Concealed Carry in Maryland

The conditions for open carry also apply for Maryland concealed carry.

Self Defense Laws in Maryland

Maryland has clear rules regarding the use of force up to and including deadly force. Here are the situations in which they’re permitted:

Use of Force

This is allowed when the user deems it reasonably necessary to repel an attack from an individual attempting unlawful entry into their dwelling or place of business. 

Use of Deadly Force

This is permitted in Maryland when someone is the target of an attack under the circumstances listed above or is outside and is unable to retreat to avoid their aggressor. Deadly force is only deemed reasonable to protect oneself against serious bodily harm or death.

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

Understanding Maryland’s force laws is an essential step. You can contact the MSP for advice if you’re in any doubt about potential use-of force-scenarios.

Firearms training is another reliable way to gain legal awareness and sound situational judgment. Concealed Coalition has trained people across the U.S. to become responsible, certified gun owners. Classes are available locally and online.

Maryland Gun Laws by Statute

Concealed Coalition is dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding gun ownership and promoting a culture of understanding, responsibility, and confidence. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning environments run by instructors who care.

Contact us today at (410) 204-4651 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs..

Quick Links

A Maryland Concealed Carry Training Course with a State Certified Instructor

CONCEALED CARRY BASICS IN MARYLAND

QUESTION

ANSWER

Does Maryland recognize constitutional carry?

No.

Is open carry permitted in Maryland?

Yes.

If Maryland requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

Maryland is a may issue state.

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

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

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

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

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

Only if 18 years and older with a clean background check and per state law. There are specific location restrictions in Ocean City and Baltimore, where stun guns and tasers are prohibited in city and state public buildings and schools.

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

Yes, if 18 years or older with no felony convictions.

Does Maryland have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

High-capacity magazines are restricted unless a LEO or RLEO. The general public can’t carry magazines holding over 10 rounds.

Does Maryland have ammunition restrictions?

No.

CONCEALED CARRY LOCATIONS IN MARYLAND

QUESTION

ANSWER

Where can't I carry a concealed firearm in Maryland?

Maryland state law prohibits concealed carry:

  • Anywhere prohibited by state regulation or law, or by federal law
  • Anywhere while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Dredge boats
  • Senate or House chambers or in any building containing them
  • Public demonstrations or within 1,000 feet of one, even in a vehicle
  • Commercial aircraft
  • Adult rehabilitation centers
  • Grounds and public buildings owned by the state
  • Childcare centers not located in a residence
  • Public schools
  • Within 100 yards of a school, public building, church, place of public assembly, or park where prohibited
  • Chesapeake Forest lands, state parks, and state and national forests
  • State highway rest areas
  • Lodging establishments where further lodging has been refused
  • Any building or grounds where a member, officer, or employee of the General Assembly has an official office, or any Joint Hearing Room.

Call ahead to ask about the firearms policy of any intended destination and consult with the relevant law enforcement office in that area.

Where can I carry a concealed firearm in Maryland?

In bars and restaurants (with permission), places of worship (with permission), and wildlife management areas.

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

Only with a WCHP or under specific circumstances without a WCHP (subsection b).

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

No.

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

No.

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

Yes, but private owners of these establishments may allow or prohibit concealed carry.

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Maryland?

Hotels are private businesses and can set their own rules. Concealed carry licensees should always check with the hotel to clarify their position in advance, as Maryland lodging establishments have the right to remove anyone in possession of dangerous property.

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

This is not defined under law, so check with your employer before doing so.

IMPORTANT GUNS LAWS IN MARYLAND

QUESTION

ANSWER

Do you have a duty to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Maryland?

There is no duty to inform an officer.

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.

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

Yes, with municipalities able to impose certain restrictions.

Does Maryland have a red flag law?

Yes, empowering certain parties to petition to temporarily prohibit someone from having a gun.

Does Maryland state law define brandishing?

No.

Is It Legal to Carry a Concealed Firearm While Using Alcohol or Illegal Drugs in Maryland?

No.

Does Maryland issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Yes.

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

No.

HANDGUN PURCHASE & POSSESSION IN MARYLAND

QUESTION

ANSWER

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Maryland?

Yes, the Handgun Qualification License is required.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Maryland?

Yes.

Does my current Maryland concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase firearm? 

No.

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

One week for handguns.

Do handguns need to be registered in Maryland?

Yes.

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

21 years old.

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home in Maryland without a license? 

Yes.

MARYLAND CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE INFORMATION

Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Maryland

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)
  • Have successfully completed required firearms training, within 2 years, prior to submitting an application or meet a training exemption
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than 1 year has been imposed; or convicted of a criminal offense for which you could have been sentenced to more than 2 years incarceration (or has been pardoned or granted relief under 19 U.S.C. Section 925(c))
  • Not have been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance
  • Not be presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless under legitimate medical direction
  • If under age 30, have no adjudications of delinquency in a juvenile court for any act that would be a felony or “crime of violence” if committed by an adult or for any misdemeanor carrying a statutory penalty of 2 years or more, and have never been committed to any detention, training or correctional institution for more than 1 year as a juvenile
  • Based on an investigation, not have exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person’s possession of a handgun a danger to the person or others
  • Have a good and substantial reason​ to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against danger

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

Applications:

Non-Resident Concealed Carry License:

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 or Stolen Licenses:

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.​

Residency Changes:

If a person with a Maryland wear/carry handgun permit establishes residency in another state, the permit is valid until it expires provided you submit the above referenced Name/Address change form.

MARYLAND CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS

Step One:

Complete a state-approved firearm training course within 2 years of application or meet a training exemption.

Step Two:

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

Step Three:

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.

Note: Application fees cannot be made online. They must be paid within 14 days by check or money order made payable to the Maryland State Police.

Step Four:

You will receive application status updates via email as your application progresses and will be notified within 90 days of submittal of a complete application whether your application has been approved or denied.

MARYLAND CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS

Overview:

State law doesn’t specify when it would be too soon to renew a license, but it’s best to do so no more than 90 days following its expiration, which is on the last day of the holder’s birth month two years after application.

Maryland only accepts online renewal applications via the MSP site. An application fee of $50, two color passport-quality photos no older than 30 days, and your firearms training certificate are required. Applicants are notified by email whether their application was accepted within 90 days of applying.

Step One:

Applicants must retake a firearms training course lasting eight hours no later than two years after their renewal application. 

Step Two:

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 
  • The application fee.

Step Three:

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

Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers and Retired LEOs

The federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) allows active and retired law enforcement officers (LEOs and RLEOs) to concealed carry anywhere in the U.S. with some restrictions. LEOSA status doesn’t supersede any local or state laws prohibiting or restricting the possession of firearms on any state or local property, installation, building, military base, or park.

LEOs and RLEOs in Maryland don’t have to qualify for a handgun license to buy a handgun, but RLEOs must carry an ID card (as must separated RLEOs) and handgun training is still required to achieve LEOSA certification.

Officers who retired in good standing from the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) can obtain or re-qualify for their LEOSA card by contacting the Training Academy at 410-875-3538. Note: All LEOs and RLEOs can purchase high-capacity magazines, which are prohibited to the public.

Firearms Training & Competency

Maryland concealed carry applicants must complete 16 hours of state-approved firearms training (eight hours for renewal applications). The 16 hours must contain live-fire training. The following are exempt from these training requirements:

  • LEOs and RLEOs
  • Active, retired, or honorably discharged military or National Guard
  • Qualified handgun instructors

There are ways to gain the necessary firearm skills in the state and gain further valuable training:

NRA Training

The NRA offers training at a wide range of locations. Use the local training locator to find specific lessons near you.

Hunter Safety Courses

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources offers a 12- to 14-hour hunter education course. Firearms handling and safety is one of several lessons this class provides, and students must prove proficiency in live-fire situations. All first-time hunters must complete the course.

Firearms Safety Courses From Other Providers

Public and private institutions, individuals, colleges, or law enforcement agencies sometimes provide firearms training. Be sure to check that the instructor is on the qualified instructor list.

A Firearms Training Course With a State-Certified Instructor

Concealed Coalition offers firearm training to help you gain valuable skills toward securing a concealed carry license. Our highly trained instructors provide actionable lessons based on their extensive practical experience to ensure you gain tested and reliable skills.

DD Form 214 or Military Orders for Active or Former Military Members

The military document DD 214 is issued when a service member performs active duty or has completed at least 90 consecutive days of active-duty training. Active military personnel are exempt from firearms training requirements, while honorably discharged individuals should have their DD 214 to prove their discharge status.

Through A Qualified Handgun Instructor

Maryland provides a qualified instructor list to gain the firearm skills necessary to concealed carry. Note: This is the only state-approved training option. It teaches various aspects of responsible firearms use and ownership, and applicants must earn a minimum score of 70%.

Get Certified for a Maryland Concealed Carry Permit Today

Our network of firearms professionals are holding training classes and in-person certification courses throughout Maryland. Use our certification locator to enroll in an upcoming firearms training course near you today, or visit our Maryland concealed carry permitting resource for online certification.

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