Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2023 ‘Background Check Procedures in Maryland.’ Background Checks. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2 June
Background Checks in Maryland
Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state "point of contact" and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)
The Secretary of the Maryland State Police ("Secretary") serves as a partial state point of contact for implementation of the Brady Act. Prospective purchasers of state-defined "regulated firearms" (handguns and assault weapons) must complete the state's application form. The application must be processed through the Secretary, who must verify the contents of the application. Among other things, the Secretary must disapprove a transfer if the Secretary receives written notification 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. If the Secretary disapproves an application, the Secretary must notify the seller or transferor within seven days of the application, in accordance with the Maryland waiting period.
A seller of a regulated firearm who is not licensed as a dealer in such firearms must complete a transaction through either a regulated firearms dealer or a designated law enforcement agency…
A dealer must contact the FBI for the federally required NICS checks for long gun (rifle and shotgun) transfers…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]