Maryland prohibits any person from knowingly or willfully participating in a straw purchase of a “regulated firearm” (handgun or assault weapon).1 Moreover, the state prohibits any person from being a knowing participant in a straw purchase of a regulated firearm to a minor or other prohibited person.2 “Straw purchase” means a sale of a regulated firearm in which a person uses another, known as the straw purchaser, to: (1) complete the application to purchase a regulated firearm; (2) take initial possession of the regulated firearm; and (3) subsequently transfer the regulated firearm to the person.3
In addition, Maryland prohibits any person from possessing, selling or otherwise transferring a stolen regulated firearm if the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the regulated firearm has been stolen.4 The state also prohibits any person from transporting a regulated firearm into Maryland for the purpose of unlawfully selling or trafficking of the gun.5
No person may knowingly participate in the illegal sale, rental, transfer, purchase, possession or receipt of a regulated firearm in violation of the Maryland laws governing regulated firearms.6
Persons may not knowingly provide false information or make a material misstatement in a firearm application or dealer’s license application.7
Maryland firearms dealer applications contain the following warning: “Any false information supplied or statement made in this application is a crime which may be punished by imprisonment for a period of not more than 3 years, or a fine of not more than $ 5,000 or both.”8
A licensed dealer may not transfer a regulated firearm until seven days have elapsed since the dealer has submitted a firearm transfer application, which has been completed by the buyer, to the Secretary of State Police, who then conducts a background check on the buyer.9 See Background Checks in Maryland.
See our Firearms Trafficking policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-136(b). See Md. Code Regs. 29.03.01.24 for specific straw purchase-related prohibitions. ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-141. ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(t). ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-138. ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-140. ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-144(a). ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-139. ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-107(c). ⤴︎
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-120, 5-123. ⤴︎