Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Maryland

In 2018, Maryland enacted a law that enables certain individuals to petition a court to remove guns from a person in crisis. The law, called an extreme risk protective order (also known as extreme risk protection order or ERPO laws), allows a law enforcement officer, family member, dating partner, mental health professional, or health officer to file a petition demonstrating to a judge that an individual poses a danger to himself, herself, or others.1 If the court determines that the petitioner has met the standard of proof, it will issue an order that lasts up to one year. An individual subject to an ERPO must relinquish his or her guns to law enforcement.

Read more about these types of laws on our Extreme Risk Protection Orders policy page.

  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-601 et seq., as added by Md. H.B. 1302 (2018). ⤴︎

Fifty Caliber Rifles in Maryland

Maryland regulates the 50 caliber rifle, including the “Barrett light .50 cal. semi-auto” in the list of assault weapons defined as “regulated firearms.”1 Transfers of regulated firearms are subject to enhanced background checks, minimum age restrictions and waiting periods. Moreover, firearms dealers and private sellers must comply with additional regulations when transferring a regulated firearm, and purchasers are limited to the purchase of one regulated firearm per month.

See our Fifty Caliber Rifles policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r)(2)(ix). ⤴︎

Gun Dealers in Maryland

See our Gun Dealers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Any person in Maryland engaged in the business of selling, renting, or transferring state-defined “regulated firearms” (handguns and assault weapons)1 must have a Maryland firearms dealer’s license.2 A separate license is required for each place of business where regulated firearms are sold.3 Prospective dealers may only obtain such a license if they are not prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal or state law, as outlined in the Prohibited Purchasers Generally in Maryland section.4

As of October 1, 2013, the Secretary of State Police (Secretary) must disapprove an application for a dealer’s license if the Secretary:

  • Determines that the applicant supplied false information or made a false statement; or
  • Receives a letter from the applicant’s licensed attending physician that the applicant suffers from a mental disorder and is a danger to the applicant or to another.5

The Secretary also must disapprove such an application if the Secretary determines that the applicant intends that a person who is not eligible to be issued a dealer’s license or whose dealer’s license has been revoked or suspended:

  • Will participate in the management or operation of the business for which the license is sought; or
  • Holds a legal or equitable interest in the business for which the license is sought.6

If the Secretary disapproves of an application for a dealer’s licensee, the Secretary must notify the applicant in writing of the disapproval of the application and the reason the application was denied.7

The Secretary may suspend a dealer’s license if the licensee is not in compliance with the record keeping and reporting requirements of Maryland law, which are described in detail below. The Secretary may lift a suspension after the licensee provides evidence that the record keeping violation has been corrected.8

A regulated firearms dealer’s license is valid for one year, and may be renewed for a term of one year or will expire on the first June 30 following its effective date.9

A dealers is required to “display conspicuously” his or her license and any other licenses required by law at the dealer’s place of business.10

A licensed dealer must keep records of all receipts, sales, and other dispositions of firearms affected in connection with the licensed dealer’s business.11

The records must include:

  • The name and address of each person from whom the dealer acquires a firearm and to whom the dealer sells or otherwise disposes of a firearm;
  • A precise description, including make, model, caliber, and serial number of each firearm acquired, sold, or otherwise disposed of;
  • The date of each acquisition, sale, or other disposition; and
  • Any other information required by regulations adopted by the Secretary.12

The Secretary must adopt regulations specifying the time period and form in which records are to be kept.13

When a firearms business is discontinued and succeeded by a new dealer, the records required to be kept under the above provisions must reflect the business discontinuance and succession and must be delivered to the successor dealer.14

A dealer must respond within 48 hours after receipt of a request from the Secretary for information contained in the required records when the information is requested in connection with a bona fide criminal investigation.15

The Secretary must inspect the inventory and records of a licensed dealer at least once every two years, and may inspect the inventory and records at any time during the normal business hours of the licensed dealer’s business.16

For laws applicable to both licensed and private firearm sellers, please see the Private Sales in Maryland section.

  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-106(a). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-106(b). ⤴︎
  4. Note that the state prohibitions for firearms dealers are defined somewhat differently than those for firearms transferees, and there appear to be no dealer prohibitions specifically addressing persons who have previously been adjudicated delinquent. See Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-107(b)(4). ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-110(a)(1)-(3). ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-110(a)(4). ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-110(b). ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-114(a)(2). ⤴︎
  9. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-111(a). ⤴︎
  10. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-113(a). For information on the suspension or revocation of a regulated firearms dealer’s license, see Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-114, 5-115 and 5-116. For further information about dealer licenses, see Md. Code Regs. – ⤴︎
  11. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(a)(1). ⤴︎
  12. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(a)(2), (3). ⤴︎
  13. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(a)(2). ⤴︎
  14. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(c). ⤴︎
  15. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(d)(1). ⤴︎
  16. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-145(f). ⤴︎

Gun Industry Immunity in Maryland

Maryland prohibits the imposition of strict liability for injuries to another that result from the criminal use of a firearm by a third person.1 This restriction does not apply if the person conspired with the third person to commit the criminal act in which the firearm was used or willfully aided, abetted, or caused the commission of the criminal act in which the firearm was used.  The legislature enacted this section to supersede Kelley v. R.G. Industries, Inc.,2 which had imposed strict liability on a manufacturer of “Saturday Night Specials” (otherwise known as Junk Guns) for their criminal misuse.

See our Gun Industry Immunity policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-402(b)(2). ⤴︎
  2. 497 A.2d 1143 (Md. 1985). ⤴︎

Gun Shows in Maryland

Maryland requires all vendors displaying state-defined “regulated firearms” (handguns and assault weapons)1 for transfer from a table or fixed display at a gun show to hold either a valid Maryland regulated firearms dealer’s license or, for persons displaying a firearm at five or fewer gun shows per year, a temporary transfer permit issued by Secretary of the Maryland State Police.2 Maryland defines a gun show as “any organized gathering open to the public at which any firearm is displayed.”3 All prospective transfers of regulated firearms at a gun show are subject to a background check.4

Each temporary transfer permit is valid for a single gun show, and a person may not receive more than five permits during a single calendar year.5

Persons displaying standard rifles and shotguns are not required to possess either a dealer’s license or a temporary transfer permit, and private transfers of these firearms are not subject to federal or state background check requirements, although federal and limited state purchaser prohibitions still apply.

See the Maryland Private Sales section for state laws that may apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(c), (i). Applicants for temporary transfer permits are subject to a background investigation. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(e), (g). For additional information, see Md. Code Regs. – ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(a). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(j). ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(i)(1). Sales of regulated firearms at public auctions or flea markets must comply with Maryland’s firearm transfer laws. Md. Code Regs. ⤴︎

Guns in Schools in Maryland

Maryland prohibits any person from carrying or possessing a firearm on public school property.1

Exceptions to this prohibition include persons engaged in an organized shooting activity for educational purposes and persons who, with a written invitation from the school principal, display or engage in a historical demonstration using a weapon or a replica of a weapon for educational purposes.2

There is no exception for possession by handgun permit holders.

This law does not apply to an off-duty law enforcement officer who is a parent, guardian, or visitor of a student attending a school located on the public school property, provided that:

  • The officer is displaying the officer’s badge or credential; and
  • The weapon carried or possessed by the officer is concealed. ((Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-102(a)(2).)

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.


  1. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-102(b). In Maryland, a county superintendent or the superintendent’s representative shall suspend a student for a minimum of one year if that student possesses a firearm on school property. Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-305(f)(2). The superintendent may specify, on a case-by-case basis, a shorter period of expulsion or an alternative educational setting, if alternative educational settings have been approved by the county board, for a student who brought a gun onto school property. Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-305(f)(3). See also Md. Code Regs. 13A.08.01.12-1. ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-102(a). ⤴︎

Guns in Vehicles in Maryland

Maryland prohibits the knowing transportation of a handgun, whether openly or concealed, on or about the person or in a vehicle traveling on a state highway, waterway, airway, or road or parking lot generally used by the public.1 Exceptions to these provisions include transporting a handgun to or from:

  • A place of purchase or repair;
  • A residence and business; or
  • An organized military activity, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, or hunting.2

Under these exceptions, the handgun must be unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or holster.3 Persons with a permit to wear, carry, or transport the handgun are exempt.4

Maryland prohibits the possession of a loaded handgun or shotgun, or a rifle containing any ammunition in the magazine or chamber, in or on an automobile or other vehicle.5

Maryland also prohibits any person from boarding, attempting to board, or being aboard a commercial aircraft with a firearm, whether openly carried or concealed.6

  1. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-203(a)(1). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-203(b)(3), (4). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-203(b)(3). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-203(b)(2). ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Nat. Res. § 10-410(c)(1). ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 5-1008. ⤴︎

Investing in Local Intervention Strategies in Maryland


Gun violence is by far the largest driver of homicides in America, the overwhelming majority of which take the form of day-to-day shootings in underserved communities.1 Black and Latino young men living in urban neighborhoods are disproportionately impacted by this tragic violence—almost 75% of America’s 14,542 gun homicide victims in 2017 were either Black or Latino, and nearly 85% male.2

In order to adequately address this public health crisis, we need policies that address not only the supply of guns in impacted communities, but also the root causes of community violence. In addition to stronger gun laws, there are a number of highly effective intervention strategies that directly address gun homicides and shootings by working with high-risk individuals to disrupt cycles of violence. For more details on these strategies, see our Healing Communities in Crisis report.

Interpersonal Gun Violence in Maryland

In recent years, Maryland has suffered an average of 313 gun-related homicides and 825 non-fatal shootings per year and has the fifth-highest rate of gun homicide in the country.3 Interpersonal gun violence in Maryland is overwhelmingly concentrated in cities, especially Baltimore, which in 2016 alone experienced 275 gun homicides and 667 nonfatal shootings.4 This ongoing violence exacts an enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll on Maryland families and communities.

In addition to the human suffering, shootings in Maryland result in an estimated $1.2 billion in direct economic costs, including healthcare costs, law enforcement expenses, lost wages, and costs to employers.5 Many of these costs fall directly on Maryland taxpayers. The investment required to scale up and expand lifesaving gun violence intervention strategies solutions in Maryland cities is minuscule compared to the yearly cost of gun violence in the state.

To its credit, the State of Maryland, through its newly created Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, is one of just a small handful of states directly investing in the local implementation of evidence-based solutions to gun violence.6

Maryland’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIPP)

In early 2018, with assistance and advocacy from Giffords Law Center and a broad coalition of gun violence prevention and social justice organizations, the Maryland legislature passed legislation establishing the Maryland Violence Intervention and Prevention Program (VIPP). This legislation had strong bipartisan support and was signed into law by Republican Governor Larry Hogan.7

Administered by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in coordination with the State Department of Health, the VIPP provides critical funding to support effective gun violence reduction strategies. Under the program, local governments and nonprofits may apply for grants to implement evidence-based gun violence prevention and intervention programs.8

In awarding VIPP grants, preference is given to applicants that serve communities disproportionately affected by violence and applicants that propose to direct VIPP funds to programs that have been shown to be the most effective at reducing violence.

To ensure the long-term viability of such programs, funding will be made available to grantees for a minimum of three consecutive fiscal years. For Fiscal Year 2018-2019, Governor Hogan’s office announced that the VIPP would initially provide $4 million in grant funding. Awards were administered to seven grantees, with the largest grant going to the City of Baltimore in the amount of $2,725,000.9

According to Governor Hogan’s office, “grants were awarded based on applications received and amounts requested,” with an eye toward “crime prevention programs that make good use of hard-earned dollars and are effective at reducing crime.”10 In the first year of funding, this includes public health strategies for addressing violence such as street outreach work and hospital-based violence intervention programs in some of Maryland’s hardest-hit areas.

Street Outreach Work in Baltimore

Baltimore is leveraging this state funding, with an additional $1.3 million in matching city funds, to expand the Safe Streets program to several new neighborhoods.11 Safe Streets is a street outreach program based on the Cure Violence model of violence prevention, which treats gun violence as a communicable disease and works to interrupt its transmission among high-risk community members.12

The Cure Violence model employs “Violence Interrupters,” and “Outreach Workers,” individuals who understand the dynamics of street violence and are able to connect with those who are most at risk to commit or become the victims of gun violence. Violence Interrupters use their position of respect in the community to mediate conflicts and defuse potentially dangerous situations before they become violent. At the same time, Outreach Workers attempt to connect the most at-risk individuals with badly needed social support services. All of this occurs while a norm-changing campaign takes place to send the message that violence will no longer be tolerated by the community.13

Several evaluations have found this strategy to be associated with significant reductions in firearm homicides and assaults. In New York City, for example, researchers found Cure Violence to be associated with up to 63% reduction in shootings within implementation neighborhoods.14

Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs

In addition to the grant provided to the City of Baltimore, smaller VIPP awards went to support violence intervention and prevention efforts in three Maryland hospitals, two community-based organizations, and one medical foundation.15 Several of these grantees are implementing Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs), which interrupt cycles of violence by providing intensive counseling, case management, and social services to patients recovering from serious injuries.16

Research shows that the strongest risk factor for violent injury is a history of previous violent injury, with the chances of injury recidivism as high as 45% within the first five years.17 Hospitalization for a serious injury presents a unique “teachable moment,” as individuals are generally more open to positive intervention and behavior change at this time.

HVIPs screen patients based on predetermined criteria to identify individuals at highest risk for reinjury, and subsequently partner them with trained, culturally competent case managers.18 Case managers then help connect high-risk individuals to community-based organizations to give them access to critical resources such as mental health services, tattoo removal, GED programs, employment, court advocacy, and housing.19

Evaluations have shown that patients who receive HVIP services are four times less likely to be convicted of a violent crime and four times less likely to be violently reinjured than patients who do not receive such services.20 HVIPs are an effective method of breaking cycles of violence in urban communities and have positive impacts on clients and communities in which they are active.

Maryland’s increased investment in this strategy is likely to result in desperately needed reductions in levels of violence in the state with the nation’s fifth-highest rate of gun homicide.

Investing in Intervention

With the launch of VIPP, Maryland is now one of only six states providing meaningful support to cities and community-based organizations seeking to implement and sustain evidence-based gun violence intervention strategies at the local level.

Other states that have chosen to fund violence intervention and prevention strategies, including Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, have witnessed substantial reductions in gun violence—saving both lives and taxpayer dollars. To learn more about how states are supporting effective evidence-based gun violence reduction strategies, see our report, Investing in Intervention: The Critical Role of State Level Support in Breaking the Cycle of Urban Gun Violence.

  1. According to CDC data, out of 19,510 total homicides in the US in 2017, 14,542—or nearly 75%—were committed with a firearm. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports, accessed October 9, 2019, http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Fatal firearm injury data came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports (www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html). Nonfatal firearm injuries came from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s HCUPnet Query System (https://hcupnet.ahrq.gov/#setup); 2017 state gun homicide ranking is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2017, on CDC WONDER Online Database, accessed Dec 14, 2018, http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html. ⤴︎
  4. “Victim Based Crime Data,” Baltimore Police Department, accessed July 26, 2017, https://data.baltimorecity.gov/Public-Safety/BPD-Part-1-Victim-Based-Crime-Data/wsfq-mvij. ⤴︎
  5. Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Maryland, https://lawcenter.giffords.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Cost-of-Gun-Violence-in-Maryland.pdf. ⤴︎
  6. Nick Wing, “There’s A Cheap And Effective Way To Reduce Gun Violence. Why Aren’t More States Doing It?” HuffPost, May 4, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/urban-gun-violence-prevention_us_5ae35255e4b055fd7fcba726. ⤴︎
  7. Nick Wing, “Maryland’s GOP Governor Signs Broad Set Of Gun Bills Into Law,” HuffPost, April 24, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/maryland-gun-laws_us_5ada332be4b04090e551f666. ⤴︎
  8. MD HB 432, http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=hb0432&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2018RS. ⤴︎
  9. “Hogan Administration Awards Close to $4 Million for New Violence Prevention Program,” Maryland.gov, http://goccp.maryland.gov/hogan-administration-awards-close-to-4-million-for-new-violence-prevention-program. ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Ian Duncan, “Three Baltimore neighborhoods picked for new Safe Streets anti-violence sites,” Baltimore Sun, Dec. 14, 2018, https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-safe-streets-expansion-20181214-story.html. ⤴︎
  12. “Safe Streets,” Baltimore City Health Department, https://health.baltimorecity.gov/safestreets. ⤴︎
  13. See Cure Violence, http://cureviolence.org. ⤴︎
  14. Sheyla A. Delgado, Laila Alsabahi, Kevin Wolff, Nicole Alexander, Patricia Cobar, and Jeffrey A. Butts, “The Effects of Cure Violence in the South Bronx and East New York, Brooklyn,” John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Oct. 2, 2017, https://johnjayrec.nyc/2017/10/02/cvinsobronxeastny. ⤴︎
  15. “Hogan Administration Awards Close to $4 Million for New Violence Prevention Program,” http://goccp.maryland.gov/hogan-administration-awards-close-to-4-million-for-new-violence-prevention-program. ⤴︎
  16. Nick Wing, “Hospitals Are Trying To Do What Politicians Haven’t: Stop Gun Violence,” HuffPost, Nov. 23, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gun-violence-intervention-hospitals_us_5bc0fbade4b01a01d68aadc6. ⤴︎
  17. J. Purtle et. al., “Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs Save Lives and Money,” J. Trauma Acute Care Surg. 75, no. 2 (2013): 331–333. ⤴︎
  18. Rochelle A. Dicker et. al., “Where Do We Go From Here? Interim Analysis to Forge Ahead in Violence Prevention,” J. Trauma 67, no. 6 (2009): 1169–1175, http://violenceprevention.surgery.ucsf.edu/media/1691926/where.pdf; see also Naneen Karraker, MA, Rebecca Cunningham, MD, Marla Becker, MPH, Joel Fein, MD, MPH, and Lyndee Knox, PhD, Violence is Preventable: A Best Practices Guide for Launching & Sustaining a Hospital-based Program to Break the Cycle of Violence (National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs, 2011), available for download at http://nnhvip.org/publications. ⤴︎
  19. Purtle, et al., “Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs Save Lives and Money,” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 75, no. 2 (2013): 331–333, https://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Citation/2013/08000/Hospital_based_violence_intervention_programs_save.22.aspx. ⤴︎
  20. T.L. Cheng, et al., “Effectiveness of a Mentor-Implemented, Violence Prevention Intervention for Assault-injured Youths Presenting to the Emergency Department: Results of a Randomized Trial,” Pediatrics 122 (2008): 938–946, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18977971; see also C. Cooper, D.M. Eslinger, and P.D. Stolley, “Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs Work,” J. Trauma 61 (2006): 534–540, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16966983. ⤴︎

Licensing in Maryland

Handgun Qualification License

A person may purchase, rent, or receive a handgun only if the person is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a handgun under state or federal law, and:

  • Possesses a valid handgun qualification license issued by the Secretary of State;
  • Possesses valid credentials from a law enforcement agency or retirement credentials from a law enforcement agency;
  • Is an active or retired member of the armed forces and possess a valid military ID; or
  • Is purchasing, renting, or receiving an antique, curio, or relic firearm as defined by federal law.1

The Secretary must issue a handgun qualification license to a person who the Secretary finds:

  • Is at least 21 years old;
  • Is a resident of Maryland;
  • Has demonstrated satisfactory completion, within three years prior to the submission of his or her application of a firearms safety training course approved by the Secretary, that includes: 1) A minimum of four hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor; 2) Class instruction on state firearm law, home firearm safety, and handgun mechanisms and operation; and 3) A firearms orientation component that demonstrates the person’s safe operation and handling of a firearm; and
  • Based on an investigation, is not prohibited by federal or state law from purchasing or possessing a handgun.2

The Secretary must apply to the Central Repository (meaning the Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services) for a state and national criminal history records check for each applicant for a handgun qualification license.3 The information obtained from the Central Repository is confidential and may not be disseminated.4

Within 30 days of application, the Secretary must issue either a handgun qualification license or a written denial of the application that contains the reason the application was denied and a statement of the applicant’s appeal rights.5

A handgun qualification license expires 10 years from the date of issuance and may be renewed.6

A handgun qualification license may be revoked by the Secretary upon a determination that the licensee is no longer qualified.  A person holding a license that has been revoked must return the license within five days after receipt of the notice of revocation.7

A person whose application for a handgun qualification license is denied or whose handgun qualification license is revoked may submit a written request to the Secretary for a hearing within 30 days after the date the written notice of the denial or revocation was sent. A hearing must be granted by the Secretary within 15 days after the request and must be held in the county of the legal residence of the applicant or licensee.8

Firearm Application

In addition, Maryland requires that purchasers of state-defined “regulated firearms” (handguns and assault weapons)9 first complete the state’s application form.10 If the transfer is approved, the person has 90 days to complete the purchase.11 See the Background Checks in Maryland section for further information.

As of October 1, 2013, firearm applications must contain an affirmation that the applicant12:

  • Is at least 21 years old;
  • Has never been convicted of a “common law crime” and received a term of imprisonment over two years;
  • Has never been convicted of a disqualifying crime;
  • Is not a fugitive from justice;
  • Is not a habitual drunkard;
  • Is not addicted to a controlled dangerous substance or is not a habitual user;
  • Does not suffer from a mental health disorder as defined by Maryland law and does not have a history of violent behavior against themselves or another person;
  • Has never been: 1) Found incompetent to stand trial; 2) Found “not criminally responsible” due to mental health issue; 3) Voluntarily admitted for more than 30 consecutive days to a state facility; 4) Involuntarily committed to a state health facility; or 5) Admitted to a mental health facility because of an emergency evaluation or, if so admitted, possesses a certificate from the facility that he or she is capable of possessing a regulated firearm without “undue danger” to himself, herself or another person;
  • Is not under the protection of a guardian appointed by a court (except for case in which appointment of a guardian is solely a result of a physical disability);
  • Is not a respondent against whom: 1) A current non ex parte civil protective order has been entered under § 4-506 of the Family Law Article of the Maryland Code; or 2) An order for protection has been issued by a court of another state or a Native American Tribe and is in effect;
  • If under age 30 at the time of application, has not been adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court for an act that would be a disqualifying crime if committed by an adult; and
  • Has completed a certified firearms safety training course that the Police Training Commission conducts or that meets the standards that the Police Training Commission establishes.13

The application must also contain a copy of the applicant’s handgun qualification license and the date and time that the firearm applicant delivered the completed application to the prospective seller or transferor.14

For further information on Maryland’s gun safety training requirements, please consult the Maryland Firearms Safety Training Website.

See our Licensing policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(c). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(d). ⤴︎
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(f)(1), (2). ⤴︎
  4. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(f)(6). ⤴︎
  5. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(h)(1). ⤴︎
  6. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(i). ⤴︎
  7. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(k). ⤴︎
  8. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-117.1(l). ⤴︎
  9. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r). ⤴︎
  10. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety §§ 5-117, 5-118. ⤴︎
  11. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-123(b). ⤴︎
  12. Md. Code Ann. Pub. Safety § 5-118. ⤴︎
  13. See Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 3-207 for information on the Police Training Commission’s powers and duties. ⤴︎
  14. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-118. ⤴︎