State Laws

Maryland Gun Laws


Although there are federal gun laws that apply to everyone across the country, each state has their own set of firearm regulations and restrictions. Maryland gun laws have been developed over the years by their state legislature in coordination with gun owners, gun dealers and local and state police organizations. These laws reflect the needs of the gun sport enthusiasts and the average citizens who want to feel protected and secure.

Maryland Gun Law Purchase Waiting Period
In order to own or purchase a handgun or assault weapon in Maryland, you first must be over 21 years old. You can not be a convicted felon or what Maryland law describes as a "habitual drunk." If you had been confined to a mental facility for over 30 days you will be restricted from buying a handgun or assault weapon. Additionally, if you have been named in any type of restraining order against you, you'll be disqualified from buying the firearm.

After filling out an application with a licensed dealer, the potential gun owner must wait for seven days while the Maryland State Police performs a background check to ascertain if the information in the application is factual. Even if the application is approved early, you still have to wait for the seven days. If the application is denied, you have thirty days to appeal. You can only purchase a single weapon every thirty days.

Transporting or Carrying Firearms in Maryland
If you are carrying a rifle or shotgun in your vehicle they must be unloaded. It is against the law to carry a handgun without a permit unless you can prove that you are transporting the gun from your residence to a place of business for sale or repair or to a shooting range. Even under those circumstances the handgun still needs to be unloaded and kept in either a carrying case or holster. You can't have it tucked in the glove box or on the seat next to you.

Maryland Permit to Carry Gun Laws
Maryland gun law allows for gun owners to apply for permits to carry handguns, but these permits have to be approved by the Secretary of the State of Police. Not only will you have to fill out a proper application but also provide a notarized letter explaining why you feel the need to carry a handgun. The only acceptable reasons are if you use the gun in your line of work (such as a security guard or private detective) or if you feel under a substantive threat of persistent danger. The same restrictions regarding criminal, emotional and substance abuse histories apply to obtaining a permit to carry.

Registration of Firearms in Maryland
Every firearm that is purchased in Maryland will need to be registered with the state police. This registration includes the serial number of the weapon. The dealer also needs to provide a single shell casing fired from the gun submitted in a sealed envelope to the police. This will then be entered into the state ballistics database. It is against the law to sell or own any firearm without a serial number or identification mark. There is a $75 fee for the permit to carry and a $10 fee for the standard application.

See also:
Maryland Divorce
Maryland Bankruptcy Laws
Maryland DUI Laws
Maryland Felony External link (opens in new window)
Maryland Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Maryland Expungement External link (opens in new window)