Maryland Gun Laws: A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Law

Maryland Gun Laws: A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Law

Posted on June 12th, 2023

If you're a resident of Maryland and interested in understanding the state's gun laws, particularly those related to concealed carry, you've come to the right place. Maryland has specific regulations in place to govern the possession and carry of firearms. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore key state laws, discuss handgun purchase and possession requirements, and provide insights into where firearms are prohibited. 

By staying informed about these laws, you can ensure compliance and make informed decisions when it comes to exercising your Second Amendment rights.

Maryland's Key State Laws

Maryland has established several key laws that govern firearm possession and carry within its jurisdiction. It's essential to be familiar with these laws to understand your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner in the state.

Concealed Carry Law

Maryland requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun. The state operates on a "may issue" policy, meaning that the issuance of a concealed carry permit is discretionary and subject to certain criteria. 

To obtain a permit, applicants must demonstrate a "good and substantial reason" to carry a concealed handgun. Examples of such reasons may include personal protection or employment-related security concerns. The Maryland State Police oversee the application process and evaluate each case individually.

Handgun Wear and Carry Permit

In Maryland, it is illegal to wear, carry, or transport a handgun without a valid wear and carry permit, unless you are exempt under specific circumstances outlined in the law. To obtain a wear and carry permit, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being at least 21 years old, completing a firearms training course, and passing a background check. It's important to note that the permit only allows for the carry of handguns and does not extend to other types of firearms.

Related: How to get a Carry Permit in Maryland – All You Need to Know 

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchasing and possessing a handgun in Maryland requires adherence to specific laws and regulations. Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned firearm owner, it's crucial to understand the process and requirements for handgun acquisition and possession. 

In this section, we'll delve into the key aspects of handgun purchase and possession in Maryland, including background checks, waiting periods, and registration. By familiarizing yourself with these regulations, you can navigate the process confidently and ensure compliance with the state's laws.

Background Checks

Maryland law requires a background check for all handgun purchases, including those conducted by private sellers. The background check process is performed by a licensed firearms dealer or through the Maryland State Police. The purpose of the background check is to ensure that the buyer is eligible and does not have disqualifying factors such as a criminal record or certain mental health conditions.

Waiting Period

Maryland has a mandatory waiting period of 7 days for the purchase of handguns. This waiting period allows for the completion of the background check and provides a "cooling-off" period before taking possession of the firearm. It's important to factor in this waiting period when planning your firearm purchase.

Registration and Licensing

Maryland law requires the registration of handguns. Upon purchasing a handgun, the buyer must complete a firearm application and submit it to the Maryland State Police. The state police will then conduct a review and process the registration. It is important to follow the registration process diligently to comply with state law.

Where are Firearms Prohibited?

While Maryland upholds the right to bear arms, there are certain locations where firearms are prohibited for public safety reasons. It's crucial to be aware of these prohibited areas to avoid legal consequences and maintain a safe environment for all individuals.

School Grounds

Maryland law prohibits the possession of firearms on school property, including both public and private K-12 schools. This restriction applies to individuals, even those with valid carry permits. It's important to exercise caution and adhere to these regulations to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff.

Government Buildings and Facilities

Firearms are generally prohibited in government buildings and facilities, including courthouses, legislative offices, and certain state agencies. Signs are typically posted to indicate these firearm-free zones. It is essential to respect these restrictions and comply with the law to maintain the security and integrity of these locations.

Public Transportation

Maryland law prohibits the possession of firearms on public transportation, including buses, trains, and light rail systems. This regulation ensures the safety and security of passengers and employees. It's important to familiarize yourself with these restrictions and make alternative arrangements for firearm storage and transport when using public transportation.

Private Property Restrictions

Private property owners have the right to establish their own policies regarding firearms on their premises. It's essential to respect these restrictions and adhere to any signage or instructions provided. If you are unsure about the firearm policies on private property, it is advisable to seek permission or clarification from the property owner.

Seeking Guidance and Training

Understanding Maryland's gun laws is crucial for responsible firearm ownership. If you have any questions or require further guidance, it's always a good idea to seek professional assistance. 

At Walker's Firearms & Defensive Tactics Training LLC, we specialize in providing comprehensive gun and defensive tactics training, plus educational resources to ensure firearm owners have a solid understanding of the law and best practices for safe and responsible gun ownership.

Our team of experienced instructors offers firearms training, defensive tactics, notary services, and seminars to help individuals navigate the intricacies of Maryland's gun laws. We are committed to empowering our clients with the knowledge and skills necessary to exercise their rights while prioritizing safety and compliance.


Staying informed about Maryland's gun laws, particularly those related to concealed carry and handgun possession, is essential for responsible firearm ownership. By familiarizing yourself with the key state laws, understanding the requirements for purchasing and possessing handguns, and being aware of where firearms are prohibited, you can ensure compliance and make informed decisions.

If you have any questions or require further assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at (240) 709-6558 or email us at [email protected]. Our dedicated team at Walker's Firearms & Defensive Tactics Training LLC is here to provide guidance, training, and support as you navigate Maryland's gun laws and prioritize safety in your firearm ownership journey.

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