Knowledge — 9 months ago

A Guide for Getting a Maryland Gun License

by Rick S.

Firearm License Maryland State, Maryland State Firearms License

How to Get a Maryland Gun License

As of October 1st, 2013, unless otherwise exempt, a resident of Maryland must possess a valid HQL or Handgun Qualification License before he/she purchases, rents, or receives a handgun. You do not need a fresh HQL to own a gun that you already possess.

Residency exemptions have been provided for active persons serving in the U.S. military and their respective spouses.

Who Can Apply for a Maryland Gun License?
A person cannot purchase, rent, or receive a handgun after October 1st, 2013 unless they possess a valid HQL or Handgun Qualification License that is issued by the Maryland State Police Department. Or he may qualify for exemption status.

Exceptions to the possession of an HQL

The following people do not require to possess an HQL –

  1. A Manufacturer of Licensed Firearms.
  2. A law enforcement officer who is currently active or a person who is retired from a law enforcement agency of the U.S. and who is in good standing (Federal Law Enforcement), a local State law enforcement agency or the State.
  3. A member of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard who is currently active or retired and who possesses a military ID card that is valid and not expired.
  4. Any person who purchases, rents or receives a curio, relic or an antique defined as per federal law.
  5. Maryland sole proprietors or dealers who are licensed to carry and buy/sell firearms.
Firearm License Maryland State

How to Apply for HQL?

The HQL can be obtained online on MyLicense.

For the application of an HQL, the law requires a complete background check to be conducted based on your fingerprint. Without completing your fingerprint background check, you cannot submit your HQL application. This is to be done only if you do not already possess a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit.

Within a period of 3 years before submitting your HQL application, the applicant must satisfactorily complete a Firearms Safety Training Course. The Firearms Safety Training Course must be taken by a Qualified Handgun Instructor. It will involve a minimum of 4 hours of instruction and will cover the following topics of study:

1. The State Firearm Laws – An exhaustive overview of the State’s firearm laws, including pointers of what a regulated firearm constitutes, how to transfer or purchase a firearm properly, where you are allowed to transport/carry a firearm, when do you need to possess a ‘carry permit’, people prohibited from possessing firearms, and all other state laws relating to possession of firearms by minors, the permissible levels of force that can be used, and the use of deadly force.

Firearm License Maryland State

2. Home Firearm Safety – An exhaustive explanation of firearm/handgun safety in the house, including discussions of firearm access to minors, storing and locking of firearms, and the use of safety devices.

3. Handgun Operations and Mechanisms – An exhaustive overview of the safe/proper use/operation/handling of a handgun, including the maintenance and cleaning of a handgun, the unloading and loading of ammunition into the handgun, and the differences between semi-automatic handguns and revolvers.  

4. Handling and Operation Demonstration – A complete orientation that will demonstrate how a person can safely operate and handle a firearm. The course will also include a live firing component, wherein the applicant will be allowed to safely shoots the firearm. However, an applicant will not be allowed to fire the handgun in excess of 15 yards during his qualification round.

How Much Does It Cost?

Acceptable methods of payment include Visa or MasterCard.

  • Original/Initial – 50 US dollars - Fingerprint Fees are not included
    Renewal – 20 US dollars - Fingerprint is not required
  • Replacement/Duplicate – 20 US dollars


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