Maryland Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW): Gun Laws, Application, Requirements & Online Training
Maryland is renowned for having some of the strictest gun laws in the United States of America. However, recent changes have led to it becoming a Shall-Issue state, allowing the issuance of CCW (Carry Concealed Weapon) permits for personal protection. Despite this change, the state remains stringent in regulating firearms, particularly concerning concealed carry. In this article, we will explore Maryland’s gun laws, CCW permits, reciprocity, location restrictions, and the process of obtaining a CCW permit.
Maryland Gun Laws
Maryland allows concealed carry with a Wear or Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP) anywhere within the state’s boundaries. The eligibility for a CCW permit is restricted to individuals aged twenty-one years or older. Exceptions can be made for employment purposes, allowing individuals aged eighteen and above to apply. Prospective permit holders must complete a compulsory firearm training course and meet all other concealed carry course requirements to obtain a certificate. Maryland issues permits to both residents and non-residents as long as they meet the CCW permit criteria.
Maryland CCW Reciprocity
Maryland does not have reciprocity agreements with any other state for CCW permits. If you do not possess a Maryland CCW permit, you are prohibited from concealed carry within the state. However, some states do recognize Maryland CCW permits under certain conditions:
- States that honor a Maryland CCW permit: Nine states will allow concealed carry with a Maryland CCW permit.
- States with restricted reciprocity: Three states only accept resident-only permits from Maryland.
- States with permitless carry: Fourteen states do not require a CCW permit for concealed carry but have their own age and firearm restrictions.
Every state’s gun laws and concealed carry policies can vary, making it crucial to be well-informed if you intend to carry a concealed weapon outside your home state.
Maryland CCW Location Restrictions
Location restrictions are present in all state gun laws, and Maryland is no exception. Certain places and establishments prohibit concealed carry, and it is essential to be aware of these restrictions to avoid legal issues.
Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In Maryland:
- Public schools
- Childcare centers and daycare buildings
- State parks and national forest areas
- Commercial airplanes
- Rest areas with firearm possession prohibition
- Hotels and lodging houses with CCW prohibition notice
- Dredge boats
- Adult care homes and rehabilitation centers for the elderly
- State government-owned buildings or properties
- Buildings or properties where the senate has a chamber
- Buildings or properties where employees or members of the General Assembly have hearings or offices
- Public places such as parks, churches, and locations for general assembly (restricted within one thousand feet of these places)
- Places where alcohol or intoxicating substances are consumed
- Places prohibited by federal law
Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Maryland:
- Restaurants and bars serving alcohol (as long as you are not under the influence)
- Wildlife management areas
- Your vehicle (with a Maryland CCW permit)
- Places of worship (unless firearms are prohibited by signage)
Conceal Carry for Law Enforcement Officers in Maryland
Federal laws allow active, retired, and honorably discharged law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms regardless of state laws. Maryland exempts law enforcement officers from obtaining high-grade firearms or going through the concealed carry permit application. However, they are required to complete a firearm training course before carrying concealed. Certifications are also available for residents who complete the training program.
Buying and Selling of Firearms in Maryland
Maryland’s gun laws regulate the sale, purchase, and transfer of firearms, and it is crucial to understand these laws to avoid legal issues.
To purchase a firearm in Maryland, even with a CCW permit, you need a Handgun Qualification License (HQL) and must undergo a background check and handgun registration. Private sellers must conduct background checks through a licensed dealer or law enforcement agency before transferring a firearm. It is illegal to transfer firearms to prohibited buyers or those who do not meet the necessary requirements.
The waiting period for firearm purchases is seven days, and the minimum age to deal with firearms in Maryland is twenty-one.
Maryland Handgun Purchasing Process
To purchase, transfer, or lease a firearm in Maryland, you must obtain an HQL. The process involves:
- Completing a sixteen-hour Maryland concealed carry permit training.
- Providing fingerprints through the Department of Public Safety processing services.
- Completing the application online through the state police website.
- Submitting necessary documents, including firearm training certificate, recent passport photograph, electronic fingerprints, and the required fee.
- Receiving notification of the application’s approval or rejection within ninety days.
Castle Doctrine in Maryland
Maryland has a Castle Doctrine policy that allows individuals to stand their ground without a duty to retreat when facing an intruder in their home or place of abode. The use of deadly force for self-defense is permitted in such situations, provided there is a reasonable belief of potential severe harm or danger of death. However, certain conditions must be met, including being in immediate danger and not provoking the situation.
Maryland CCW Permit Requirements
To apply for a Maryland CCW permit, you must meet specific requirements:
- Be at least twenty-one years old (or at least eighteen for employment purposes).
- Be a legal citizen of the United States.
- Not have a felony conviction or any crime punishable by over one year in jail.
- Not have any court restraining orders.
- Not be involved in juvenile delinquency for more than one year within the past ten years.
- Not be a drug user, alcoholic, or user of controlled substances.
- Be of sound mind and not diagnosed with any mental illness.
- Not be under treatment in a psychiatric hospital or mental home.
- Not be deemed to have a tendency for violence or instability.
- Not have any arrest warrants or be a fugitive.
- Not have been dismissed from the United States Armed Forces for dishonorable reasons.
- Not be subject to the forfeiture of firearms.
- Have a valid reason for obtaining a CCW permit.
- Meet all federal requirements for a CCW permit.
How to Apply for a Maryland CCW Permit
To apply for a Maryland CCW permit, follow these steps:
- Complete a sixteen-hour Maryland concealed carry permit training.
- Provide fingerprints through the Department of Public Safety processing services.
- Complete the application online through the state police website.
- Submit necessary documents, including firearm training certificate, recent passport photograph, electronic fingerprints, and the required fee.
- Receive notification of the application’s approval or rejection.
Maryland’s strict gun laws make it essential for residents and non-residents to understand the state’s CCW permit requirements, reciprocity agreements, and location restrictions. Obtaining a CCW permit involves meeting specific criteria and completing necessary training. As with any state, staying informed about the laws and regulations is essential for responsible gun ownership and concealed carry. Remember to comply with all requirements and ensure your safety and that of others while carrying a concealed weapon.
Maryland Concealed Carry FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about Maryland CCW:
How Long Is A CCW Permit Valid For? An initial CCW permit is valid for two years, expiring on the last day of your birth month. Upon renewal, the permit is valid for three years.
How Much Is Maryland CCW Permit Application? The application fee for an initial permit is seventy-five dollars, and for renewal, it is fifty dollars.
How Long Will It Take To Get A CCW Permit? The processing period for a Maryland CCW permit is ninety days.
Can I Get A Maryland Non-resident Permit? Maryland issues both resident and non-resident permits, but the process is the same for both.