Open Carry Pistol

Maryland Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

If you are considering possessing a firearm for open carry in Maryland, it is essential to be well-informed about the state’s stringent gun laws. Maryland has specific regulations that govern the possession and open carry of firearms, and understanding these laws is crucial to ensure compliance and lawful ownership.


Maryland takes its responsibility to regulate firearms seriously. As such, prospective gun owners must be aware of the laws and procedures involved in open carry within the state. This article will provide an in-depth overview of Maryland’s gun laws, focusing on open carry regulations and restrictions.

Maryland Gun Law Summary

Handgun License Application

To carry handguns within Maryland, individuals must apply for a Maryland wear/carry handgun license. The application process is overseen by the state’s Department of Police, and Maryland follows a Shall-Issue policy, meaning that once the applicant meets the criteria, the permit must be issued.

Probable Reason for Carrying a Firearm

Before applying for a handgun permit, individuals must have a probable reason for carrying a firearm, which now includes personal protection. This reason must be stated in the application.

Purchase Permit and Background Check

To buy handguns, individuals must obtain a purchase permit and undergo a criminal record background check. Even with a carry permit, individuals are not exempt from completing a background check for firearm purchases.

Is Open Carry Legal in Maryland?

Yes, open carry is legal in Maryland, but individuals must have a state permit to do so. However, there are restrictions and local area ordinances that must be understood and followed when open carrying.

See also  Arkansas Open Carry

Open Carry Maryland

Open Carry laws in Maryland are explained as follows:

Licensed Open Carry State

Maryland is a licensed open carry state with a may-issue permit system. This means that individuals without a state carry permit cannot open carry in the state.

Machine Gun Restrictions

Maryland does not have restrictions on assault weapons, but using a machine gun offensively is prohibited. Anyone using a machine gun must register it within twenty-four hours of acquisition.

Maryland Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.YesYesA permit is required before open carrying in Maryland.
Firearm registrations for open carry.YesYesAll firearms must be registered in Maryland after purchase. New residents must register their guns after three months of establishing residency.
Assault weapon for open carry.YesYesFirearms and semi-automatic firearms can be used if registered and for legitimate purposes.
Magazine limitYesYesHandguns and firearms cannot have a magazine capacity exceeding ten rounds.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredNo license requirements for firearm ownership in Maryland.
Red flag lawYesYesProtection or restriction orders can be issued for individuals deemed suicidal or a threat.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesMaryland has castle doctrine and no duty to retreat in dwelling places.
Background check for private dealersYesYesA background check is required for all firearm purchases. Private dealers must use a licensed dealer for the check.
PreemptionYesYesMaryland preempts all gun laws, but local areas can regulate the possession of dangerous weapons within their territory.
Concealed carry permitNoYesA concealed carry permit is required to carry a concealed firearm in Maryland.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesA concealed carry permit is required to carry a firearm in a personal vehicle.
Open carry in schoolsNoNoPossession of firearms is prohibited in public schools, colleges, and universities.

Where Is It Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Open carry is permitted in various locations across Maryland, including:

See also  Illinois Open Carry

Restaurants and Bars

You can open carry in restaurants and bars unless there are signs prohibiting such actions.

Personal Vehicle

Open carry in your personal vehicle is allowed, provided you have a valid Maryland permit to carry firearms.

Wildlife Management Areas

Open carry is permitted in wildlife management areas in the state.

Places of Worship

You can open carry in churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship, as long as no signs prohibit firearms possession on the premises.

Where Is It Illegal to Possess Firearms in Maryland?

Maryland gun statutes prohibit the possession of firearms and open carry in certain areas, including:

  • Schools owned by the state government
  • Child care centers and daycare facilities
  • State parks and forests
  • Rest areas along the state highway
  • Airports and commercial planes
  • Hotels and lodging places with prohibition signs
  • State rehabilitation centers or adult care facilities
  • Public buildings and grounds
  • Buildings used by the state senate or general assembly for their activities

Additionally, open carry is not allowed while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any intoxicating substance.

Relevant Open Carry Law and Legislature in Maryland

Magazine Limit for Firearms

Maryland prohibits the manufacture, sale, purchase, handling, or possession of any firearm with a removable magazine capacity exceeding ten rounds. Law enforcement officers are exempt from this restriction.

Preemption Laws

Maryland has preemption laws regarding all firearm statutes, including weapons laws. However, counties and municipalities can still regulate firearm use within their jurisdictions, with many restricting firearms in certain areas like parks, schools, and public places.

See also  Missouri Open Carry

Red Flag Law

Maryland’s public safety statute includes a red flag law, allowing family members, medical practitioners, or law enforcement officers to submit petitions to prohibit individuals deemed a threat from possessing, buying, selling, or handling firearms.

Brandishing of Firearms

Maryland’s criminal law prohibits causing physical harm to another person with a firearm or weapon.

Possession of Firearms Under the Influence of Alcohol

Maryland prohibits the possession of firearms while under the influence of alcohol.

Open Carry While Hunting in the State

Open carry during legal hunting activities is permitted in Maryland, provided individuals meet specific requirements, including being at least twenty-one years old and carrying the firearm for personal protection.


Understanding Maryland’s gun laws, especially those related to open carry, is vital for anyone intending to possess a firearm in the state. Complying with the regulations ensures both safety and legality in firearm ownership. Be aware of where open carry is permitted and where it is prohibited, as violations can lead to serious consequences.


Q1. Can I open carry in Maryland without a permit?

No, open carry in Maryland requires a state permit.

Q2. Are there restrictions on assault weapons in Maryland?

Maryland does not have restrictions on assault weapons, but using a machine gun offensively is prohibited.

Q3. Can I open carry in restaurants and bars in Maryland?

Yes, you can open carry in restaurants and bars unless there are signs prohibiting such actions.

Q4. Can I open carry in schools or on school grounds in Maryland?

No, possession of firearms is prohibited in public schools, colleges, and universities.

Q5. Are there magazine capacity limits for firearms in Maryland?

Yes, handguns and firearms cannot have a magazine capacity exceeding ten rounds in Maryland.

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