Maryland Firearms Laws and Regulations
Maryland has quite a few laws applying to firearms. The ones covered here are related to “regulated” firearms and the carry of firearms. These are intended to be easy to understand, not comprehensive. This is not legal advice - consult a lawyer if you need legal advice.
Not all codes and regulations are quoted, and you should spend the time to familiarize yourself with the entirety of Maryland’s laws relating to firearms possession and use.
CHILDREN AND ACCESS TO FIREARMS
You may not leave a loaded firearm where you should have known that a child (Under 16) could gain access it.
NOTE: You should teach your children what to do - check out the Eddie Eagle Program and the Eddie Eagle Treehouse
You cannot wear, carry, or transport a handgun (concealed or open) on a person or in a vehicle unless you are:
A MD Wear and Carry holder
Going to the gun store
Going to a repair shop
Going between homes
Boing between your home and business
participating in and on the way to or from:
an organized military activity
a target shoot
formal or informal target practice
a sport shooting event
A DNR sponsored firearms and hunter safety class
a dog obedience training class or show
The moving by a Designated Collector) of part or all of the collection for public or private exhibition
on real estate that you own, lease, or reside in
A regulated firearm is:
a machine gun
a firearm that is an assault weapon EG:
American Arms Spectre da Semiautomatic carbine;
AK–47 in all forms;
Barrett light .50 cal. semi–auto;
Bushmaster semi–auto rifle;
Colt AR–15, CAR–15, and all imitations
except Colt AR–15 Sporter H–BAR rifle;
ETC - Refer to the full list in the law
A dealer or any other person may not sell, rent, or transfer a handgun unless they are presented a valid HQL
You may purchase, rent, or receive a handgun only if you:
have an HQL
are Law Enforcement
are an active or retired member of the armed forces with a valid military ID card
are purchasing, renting, or receiving an antique, curio, or relic firearm
are not prohibited from possessing a handgun
An HQL shall be issued to you if you are:
at least 21 years old;
a resident of the State;
have demonstrated satisfactory completion of a firearms safety training course
are not prohibited from buying or possessing a handgun.
APPLICATIONS TO PURCHASE (77R)
To purchase you shall:
Submit a firearm application to purchase a regulated firearm.
pay the application fee of $10.
You may not purchase more than one regulated firearm every 30 days.
You may not sell, rent, or transfer a regulated firearm to a an applicant that is placed on hold
You must be 21 to possess a regulated firearm.
Under 21 temporary possession is allowed if you:
- are under the supervision of a person at least 21 years old and have parental permission
are participating in marksmanship training
are under the supervision of a qualified instructor;
are a person who is required to possess a regulated firearm for employment
for defense against a trespasser into your home
You may not possess a regulated firearm if you:
have been convicted of a disqualifying crime
have been convicted of a common law crime and imprisoned more than 2 years
are a fugitive from justice
are a habitual drunkard;
are addicted to a controlled dangerous substance or are a habitual user
suffer from a mental disorder with a history of violent behavior
have been found incompetent to stand trial
have been found not criminally responsible
have been voluntarily admitted for more than 30 consecutive days
have been involuntarily committed
is under the protection of a guardian appointed by a court
are a respondent against whom:
a current non ex parte civil protective order has been entered
an order for protection has been issued; or
are under the age of 30 and were adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court
a crime of violence;
a violation of § 5–602, § 5–603, § 5–604, § 5–605, § 5–612, § 5–613, § 5–614, § 5–621, or § 5–622 of the Criminal Law Article; or
an offense under the laws of another state equal the prohibited crimes
Violation is a felony
with a mandatory sentence of 5 years and not eligible for parole during those 5 years.
Each violation is a separate crime.
If you cannot possess a regulated firearm, you cannot possess ammunition.
You can gift a regulated firearm if you both follow the laws and can possess it.
If you give them a gift certificate only they have to qualify for possession.
If you gift it to your spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or child they
must complete a 77r
there is no fee for gift transfers
DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN STRAW PURCHASES
WEAR AND CARRY
YOU MUST HAVE A PERMIT TO CARRY BEFORE YOU CARRY
Permits are issued to adults that:
are not prohibited
are not drunkards
are not addicts
have successfully completed training
does not exhibit a propensity for violence
if under 30, does not have a juvenile record
Wear and Carry permit holders may get an HQL for FREE if:
they were issued a permit
do not already have an HQL
For the most part these are straight forward definitions but you should read them and their related citations if you encounter ambiguity.
Restrictions on the sale, rental, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession, and transport of regulated firearms in MD.
You may not:
Sell, rent, transfer, purchase, receive, or possess a regulated firearm
ever participate in a straw purchase
Traffic in regulated firearms and unlawfully sell them
Obliterate, remove, change, or alter the markings on a firearm
Possess, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, or receive an assault weapon in the State
- Transport an assault weapon into the State.
You can inherit legally owned assault weapons
Various exemptions exist for:
Law enforcement personnel
Members of the armed forces
A signal pistol or other visual distress signal approved by the Coast Guard as a marine safety device.
Violate these things and you go to jail and your property will be seized as contraband.
Basically you have to be 21 and not prohibited. There are lots of intricacies so you are encouraged to go read it.
LOSTOR STOLEN FIREARMS
You must report lost or stolen regulated firearms within 72 hours.
NEW RESIDENT REGISTRATIONS
If you become a resident you MUST register ALL regulated firearms within 90 days
If you are prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm you also cannot possess ammunition.
You may not do these things with magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds:
Offer for sale
DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN STRAW PURCHASES
If you are not purchasing for YOURSELF or as a gift for a non-prohibited family member it is a STRAW PURCHASE.
You can gift regulated firearms to non-prohibited direct family members. They must complete a 77r application.
REGULATIONS ON TRAINING
You have to follow the training requirements.
Requirements pursuant to COMAR12.04.01.12
HOME AND BUSINESS DEFENSE
You are not liable for using force, to include deadly force if reasonable, to defend your home or business
ASSISTANCE IN AN EMERGENCY
...You are not civilly liable for any act or omission in providing assistance or medical aid to a victim at the scene of an emergency, if:
(1) The assistance or aid is provided in a reasonably prudent manner;
(2) The assistance or aid is provided without fee or other compensation; and
(3) The individual relinquishes care of the victim when someone who is licensed or certified by this State to provide medical care or services becomes available to take responsibility.