How to Purchase a Handgun in Maryland

In order to purchase a handgun in Maryland as of October 1, 2013, the buyer must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL), unless otherwise exempt. Exemptions apply to the following people:

  1. Licensed firearms manufacturers.
  2. Active law enforcement officers or a person retired in good standing from a law enforcement agency of the United States (Federal Law Enforcement), the State, or a local law enforcement agency of the State.
  3. Active or retired members of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard that possess a valid military identification card.
  4. A person purchasing, renting, or receiving an antique, curio, or relic as defined in federal law.
  5. Maryland licensed firearms dealers (sole proprietors).

To apply for an HQL, the law requires a fingerprint-based background check. Applications cannot be submitted until this is complete, unless you already posses a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit. Within three years prior to the submission of an HQL application, applicants must demonstrate a satisfactory completion of a Firearms Safety Training Course taught by a qualified handgun instructor. Heritage Training and Shooting Center is a qualified handgun instructor. The Firearms Safety Training Course must consist of a minimum of four hours of instruction with the following minimum curricula:

  1. State Firearm Law
  2. Home Firearm Safety
  3. Handgun Mechanisms and Operation
  4. Operation and Handling Demonstration


Heritage Training and Shooting Center is a state-of-the-art facility with classrooms, simulation labs, range and firearms retail store all designed with comfort in mind.