How to Purchase a Handgun in Maryland

Maryland Handgun Laws

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

Sign up for our Handgun Qualification License Course Now!


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.