Unless otherwise exempt, as of October 1, 2013, a Maryland resident must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License before he/she may purchase, rent, or receive a handgun. Details on exemptions may be found below. You do not need a Handgun Qualification License to own a gun you already have. The Handgun Qualification License is only needed for purchasing, transferring, or renting a regulated firearm after October 1, 2013.
Click here to view the full text of the Law
Please Note: Residency exemptions have been made for active military personnel and their spouses.
Q: How do you verify the credentials of current or retired military personnel?
A: Please refer to the following web-page. http://www.cac.mil/uniformed-services-id-card/
A person may not purchase, rent, or receive a handgun after October 1, 2013 unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) issued by the Maryland State Police or qualify for exemption status.
In accordance with the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, individuals who are voluntarily admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility (either state, private or acute general), for a period of 30 consecutive days or more, or involuntarily certified and retained by an Administrative Law Judge may have to surrender their firearms and will be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm unless an individual is granted relief from firearm disqualification. DHMH makes available to persons who are prohibited from possessing certain firearms a process to apply for relief from these prohibitions.
The Handgun Qualification License is accessible online through MyLicense. For access please click HERE.
To apply for an HQL the law requires a fingerprint based background check click HERE. You cannot submit your application until this is completed, unless you already possess as Maryland Wear and Carry Permit.
Within 3 years prior to the submission of an HQL application, an applicant must demonstrate a satisfactory completion of a Firearms Safety Training Course. Qualified Handgun Instructors can be found online (here). The Firearms Safety Training Course must be instructed by a Qualified Handgun Instructor, and shall consist of a minimum of 4 hours of instruction and include the following minimum curricula:
Acceptable methods of payment include Visa or MasterCard
Original/Initial – $50.00 - Fingerprint Fees not included
Renewal – $20.00 - Fingerprint not required
Prior to October 1, 2013, the application process will be automated on the Maryland State Police Licensing Division webpage.
The Maryland State Police will issue a Handgun Qualification License to present to the dealer.
Prior to October 1, 2013, the registration process will be automated on the Maryland State Police Licensing Division webpage.
When applying for your HQL you will be asked for the serial number of your legally owned handgun. Upon providing that serial number you will have met your obligation.
No. An HQL is the only required to purchase, rent or transfer a firearm.
Please refer to the following web-page: http://www.cac.mil/uniformed-services-id-card/
Below you will find links to PDFs of relevant Maryland statutes, provided for your convenience. Please note that laws change over time. The below documents were created on June 12, 2013, and are for reference purposes only. To obtain the most recent text of any legislation, please go online to LexisNexis to access the up-to-date Maryland code.
Note: In order to view documents that are PDFs please utilize Internet Explorer or disable the PDF Viewer in Google Chrome. Instructions for disabling the PDF Viewer can be found HERE.
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