Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2020 ‘Firearm Prohibitions in Maryland.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2 December
Prohibited Purchasers Generally in Maryland
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
In Maryland, the Secretary of the Maryland State Police must deny a transfer of a 'regulated firearm' where the prospective purchaser, lessee or transferee:
- Has been convicted of:
A crime of violence; Any Maryland-classified felony; Conspiracy to commit a felony; A common law crime for which the person received a term of imprisonment for more than two years; or Any Maryland-classified misdemeanor that carries a statutory penalty of more than two years;
- Is a fugitive from justice;
- Is a habitual drunkard;
- Is an addict or habitual user of any controlled dangerous substance;
- Is suffering from a mental disorder and has a history of violent behavior, unless the purchaser, lessee, or transferee possesses a physician's certificate stating that he or she is capable of possessing a regulated firearm without undue danger to himself, herself or others;
- Has been confined for more than 30 consecutive days to a facility unless the purchaser, lessee, or transferee possesses a physician's certificate stating that he or she is capable of possessing a regulated firearm without undue danger to himself, herself or others;
- Is visibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Is under 21 years of age;
- Is a participant in a "straw purchase" (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);
- Is subject to a "non ex parte civil protective order;"
- If under the age of 30 years at the time of the transaction, has been adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court for an act that would be a disqualifying crime if committed by an adult; or
- Has not completed a certified firearms safety training course, required to obtain a regulated firearm.
Maryland explicitly prohibits the following persons from possessing standard rifles and shotguns:
- A person suffering from a mental disorder who has a history of violent behavior against himself, herself or others; or
- A person who has been confined for more than 30 consecutive days in a facility, per Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 10-101.
In 2011, Maryland enacted a law prohibiting possession of standard rifles and shotguns by any person convicted of a crime of violence, or certain Maryland laws regarding controlled substances.
Transfers of rifles and shotguns by private sellers (non-firearms dealers) are not subject to background checks, although federal purchaser prohibitions still apply…
[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]