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Maryland Gun Laws

Are you a Maryland resident interested in concealed carry? Curious about where you can carry your firearm legally? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of Maryland’s concealed carry laws, reciprocity agreements, and important considerations for responsible gun owners. Whether you’re new to concealed carry or a seasoned enthusiast, this article will provide you with valuable insights. Let’s jump right in!


For residents of Maryland who wish to carry concealed firearms, understanding the state’s laws and reciprocity agreements is paramount. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Maryland’s concealed carry landscape, equipping you with the essential knowledge to navigate these regulations confidently.

Maryland’s Transition to “Shall Issue”

In the landmark case of NYSRPA v Bruen, the Supreme Court redefined Maryland’s stance on concealed carry. The state shifted to a “Shall Issue” policy, making it significantly easier for eligible individuals to obtain concealed carry permits. This pivotal decision has sparked a transformation in Maryland’s concealed carry regulations.

Obtaining Concealed Carry Permits

Maryland residents seeking concealed carry permits can apply through the Secretary of State Police. The application process entails background checks and firearm registration. It’s essential to understand the criteria for eligibility and the responsibilities that come with carrying a concealed weapon.

Understanding Maryland’s Handgun Roster

Maryland maintains a handgun roster that specifies which firearms can be legally sold within the state. This list influences private sellers and FFL dealers, ensuring compliance with state regulations. Before purchasing a handgun, ensure it’s on the approved roster.

Maryland Gun Laws in Cars

Maryland has strict laws regarding the possession of firearms in vehicles. Unlike some states, Maryland generally prohibits the carrying of handguns in cars without a permit. There are a few exceptions – for example, a person may transport an unloaded handgun in an enclosed case or holster for legitimate purposes such as going to a shooting range or gun shop.

See also  Maryland Open Carry

However, the handgun must still be unloaded and stored appropriately during transport. Long guns like rifles and shotguns do not require a permit for transport when unloaded, but state law requires that they are not readily accessible to the driver or passengers in the car. Violating Marylandโ€™s laws on guns in vehicles can result in severe criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.

Safety courses and legal permits are required for those wishing to carry loaded handguns in their cars for personal protection. Even with a permit, there are still restrictions on how the handgun must be stored while driving in Maryland.

Maryland Gun Laws for Felons

Maryland bans felons from having any firearms or ammunition. The state prohibition applies to all guns and is permanent for felons unless they receive a rare governor’s pardon. Illegal possession is a felony with strict penalties. Maryland’s laws allow no exceptions and harshly punish felons caught with firearms.

Maryland Gun Laws for Active Duty Military

Maryland exempts active military members from the state’s permit and gun registration requirements. Active duty service members may transport handguns while adhering to certain restrictions. They must follow federal laws on transporting firearms onto military installations in Maryland. Overall, active military receive leniency within Maryland’s strict gun laws while on orders, but still face penalties for violations.

Quick Facts about Maryland Gun Laws

Constitutional Carry in Maryland

Unfortunately, Maryland does not recognize constitutional carry, meaning a permit is required to carry concealed firearms.

Open Carry Laws

Maryland permits open carry for individuals with a Maryland Wear and Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP).

Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Maryland allows concealed carry within vehicles for WCHP holders. Unloaded firearms must be stored securely, and specific transportation scenarios apply.

See also  Maryland Hunting

Carrying Firearms in State Parks

State and national parks in Maryland do not allow concealed or open carry of firearms.

Carrying Firearms in Restaurants

Carrying firearms into restaurants is generally allowed with a WCHP, provided the carrier is not under the influence.

Enforcing “No Weapon” Signs

Maryland law does not grant “No Weapon” signs the force of law.

Notifying Law Enforcement

While Maryland lacks a duty-to-inform statute, individuals must provide their permit and valid ID when asked by law enforcement.

Exploring Maryland’s CCW Reciprocity

States Honoring Maryland CCW Permits

Maryland’s reciprocity extends to several states, allowing permit holders to carry concealed in those jurisdictions. Some states have restricted reciprocity.

Maryland Gun Laws

States Not Honoring Maryland CCW Permits

Unfortunately, Maryland’s CCW permits are not honored in a range of states, including California, Colorado, and Hawaii.

States with Restricted Reciprocity

Certain states have limited reciprocity agreements with Maryland, imposing specific conditions for recognition.

Maryland’s Non-Recognition Policy

Maryland does not honor CCW permits/licenses from any other state.

Navigating CCW in Maryland: Where It’s Allowed

Permitted Places

Maryland permits concealed carry in state game management areas and areas not explicitly designated as off-limits.

Restricted Locations

Carrying firearms is prohibited on public school property, during demonstrations within 1000 feet, in legislative buildings, and on aircraft, among other locations.

Understanding Maryland’s Concealed Carry Laws

Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry

While open carry is allowed, it may attract unwanted attention. Concealed carry with a WCHP is a more discreet option.

Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Strict guidelines govern firearm transportation, with specific allowances for WCHP holders.

Transporting Handguns in Specific Scenarios

Handguns can be transported to and from shooting events, residences, repair shops, and businesses of interest.

Carrying Firearms in State Parks

Maryland prohibits carrying firearms in state parks, forests, and roadside rest areas.

See also  Maryland Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

Carrying Firearms in Restaurants

Maryland generally allows carrying firearms in restaurants, subject to individual restaurant policies.

Constitutional Carry Status

Maryland does not practice constitutional carry; a permit is mandatory for concealed carry.

Enforcing “No Weapon” Signs

While not legally binding, respecting “No Weapon” signs is advised to avoid potential conflicts.

Interaction with Law Enforcement

Maryland does not mandate informing law enforcement of carrying a firearm, but possessing a valid permit is required.


In conclusion, Maryland’s concealed carry reciprocity and regulations have experienced significant changes in recent years. Whether you’re navigating the nuances of reciprocity agreements or understanding where you can lawfully carry, this guide empowers you with the knowledge needed to exercise your concealed carry rights responsibly and within the bounds of the law.


1. How do I apply for a Maryland Wear and Carry Handgun Permit?

To apply for a WCHP, submit an application to the Secretary of State Police, undergo background checks, and fulfill other requirements.

2. Can I open carry in Maryland?

Yes, open carry is permitted for individuals with a Maryland WCHP.

3. Are “No Weapon” signs legally binding in Maryland?

No, “No Weapon” signs do not carry the force of law in Maryland.

4. Which states honor Maryland CCW permits?

Several states, including Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona, honor Maryland CCW permits.

5. Can I carry firearms in Maryland state parks?

No, carrying firearms is generally prohibited in Maryland state parks.

6. Can You Carry a Gun in Maryland

Maryland strictly regulates the carrying of firearms. Carrying a loaded handgun openly or concealed requires a state permit. Exceptions apply for certain unloaded transport only. Maryland bans the open carry of long guns and local jurisdictions can limit public carry more. Penalties for illegally carrying are severe. Obtaining a carry permit has extensive requirements and legal carry still faces restrictions.

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