Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Concealed Carry in Maryland.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 31 July
Concealed Weapons Permitting in Maryland
Maryland generally prohibits wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person without a permit. This prohibition does not apply on real estate that the person owns or leases, where the person resides, or within the confines of a business establishment that the person owns or leases.
Maryland is a "may-issue" state, meaning that the Secretary of the Maryland State Police ("Secretary") has discretion to issue a permit to anyone seeking to wear, carry or transport a handgun if the applicant demonstrates a "good and substantial reason" to carry a handgun and has not previously shown a "propensity for violence or instability" that may cause the applicant to be a danger to himself or herself or other persons when possessing the handgun. "Good and substantial reason" includes a finding by the Secretary that a handgun permit is necessary to protect the applicant against apprehended danger. Any person wishing to obtain a handgun permit must also:
- Be an "adult;"
- Have no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year has been imposed;
- If under age 30, have no adjudications of delinquency in a juvenile court for any act that would be a felony or "crime of violence" if committed by an adult or for any misdemeanor carrying a statutory penalty of two years or more, and have never been committed to any detention, training or correctional institution for more than one year as a juvenile;
- Have no convictions involving the possession, use or distribution of controlled substances and not be presently an alcoholic, addict or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance; and
- Meet all federal and state requirements to possess a handgun, as outlined in the Maryland Prohibited Purchasers Generally section.
Applicants for a first-time permit are required to submit a nonrefundable application fee not to exceed $75.
A handgun permit will be revoked if the permittee no longer satisfies the qualifications to hold a permit or fails to carry the permit any time they carry, wear or transport a handgun. Anyone failing to return to the Secretary their revoked permit is criminally liable for a misdemeanor.
Permittees are criminally liable for a misdemeanor if they wear, carry or transport a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Maryland also imposes a misdemeanor upon any person who carries, wears or transports a handgun, whether concealed or in open view, without a valid handgun permit. The Secretary of State Police retains the power to limit the geographic area, circumstances, or times in which the handgun permit is effective.
Firearm Safety Training
Maryland does not require training to obtain a permit to wear, carry or transport a handgun.
Duration & Renewal
Maryland handgun permits expire "on the last day of the holder's birth month following 2 years after the date the permit is issued."11 Permits may be renewed for successive periods of three years each, upon application and payment of a renewal fee. Applicants must continue to possess the qualifications set forth in the handgun permitting rules of Maryland Code Ann., Public Safety § 5-306 to renew a permit.
Disclosure or Use of Information
In Maryland, any information obtained by the Secretary from the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services pursuant to the Secretary's request for a criminal history records check on a handgun permit applicant:
- Is confidential and may not be disseminated; and
- Shall be used only for the licensing purpose authorized by Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-305.
No relevant statutes currently exist, indicating that Maryland does not recognize concealed weapons permits issued in other states…
[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]