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Note: The processes listed below apply to the majority of people. If you are active-duty military, honorably discharged military, law enforcement, or retired law enforcement, the processes below may be slightly different (easier) when applying for a concealed carry permit.
Types of Concealed Carry Permits
Note: Maryland refers to their concealed carry permit as the Wear and Carry Permit (WCP).
1) Residents & Non-Residents
- Must be a minimum of 18 years old
- Valid for 2 years, expires on the last day of your birth month
- Renewals valid for 3 years
- Costs $75 (+ $Training Course + $Fingerprinting Fees)
Is it Required to Carry Concealed?
Grey Area– you are technically allowed to open carry in MD with a concealed carry permit. However, there are reports of people losing their permits who have open carried.
We do not recommend you open carry in MD.
May Issue or Shall Issue?
Maryland is a may issue state, meaning the law states that they may issue a permit if you meet all requirements.
Process to Apply
To get a resident wear and carry permit in MD, you must apply through the Maryland State Police Handgun Permit Unit.
- Complete a handgun training course that includes live fire.
- Get fingerprints taken at an Electronic Fingerprint Processing Center authorized by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. This is necessary to initiate a criminal background check.
- Find an approved location near you here.
- Get the application online here.
- Note: The Handgun Permit Unit prefers you type, rather than hand-write, your responses.
- Complete and print the application. Send the completed application, along with the following items, to the address listed below:
- A copy of the certificate that proves you completed a MD approved handgun safety course. Some departments accept copies, others require the original certificate.
- 2 passport style (2 inches x 2 inches) color photographs of yourself from the past 30 days. The picture must be from the shoulders up.
- Application fee: A check or money order for $75 made payable to the “Maryland State Police“.
- The electronic fingerprint transmission receipt from step 2 above.
After these steps are completed, the Maryland State Police Handgun Permit Unit is legally required to inform you in 90 days or less whether the permit has been approved or denied. A denial, whether it be for a new issue or a renewal, may be appealed.
Maryland State Police
1111 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208
ATTN: Handgun Permit Unit
Reasons an Applicant Won’t Be Approved
If you meet any of the following conditions, your application is almost guaranteed to be denied:
- You are illegally in the United States.
- You’ve been convicted of a felony.
- You’ve been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence.
- You’ve been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term greater than 1 year.
- You’ve been committed to any juvenile detention center for greater than 1 year within the last 10 years.
- You are subject to a restraining order or other similar court order.
- You are a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, or are determined to be of unsound mind.
- You have a mental illness.
- You’ve received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution, or similar treatment facility for any reason.
- You are a fugitive from justice.
- You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
- You are subject to a firearms seizure order.
Location Restrictions for Carrying
It is unlawful to carry a handgun, even if you have a concealed carry permit, in the following locations:
- Federal buildings.
- State public buildings and grounds.
- In child care centers.
- Federal prisons.
- Indian reservations.
- Post offices.
- Military bases.
- On school property.
- Passed the security checkpoint at airports.
- Within 1000 feet of a demonstration in public.
- In community adult rehabilitation centers.
- On dredge boats.
- On Chesapeake Forest Lands.
- State forests.
- State parks.
- At state highway rest areas.
- Anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. You cannot carry a firearm if you consume any alcohol.
Transporting a Handgun Through & Throughout MD
With a Concealed Carry Permit
If you have a MD concealed carry permit, you may transport a handgun in a vehicle while it is loaded and on your person.
Without a Concealed Carry Permit
If you do not possess a MD concealed carry permit, you are eligible to transport a handgun through (from another state into MD) and throughout (within MD) the state in the following cases:
- You are transporting the handgun to/from the place of sale or the place of repair.
- You are transporting the handgun to/from your residence or place of business.
- You are transporting the handgun to/from an organized military activity, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, or somewhere to hunt.
If your transportation falls into one of the cases above, you must abide by the following guidelines when transporting the handgun:
- You must legally possess the firearm.
- The firearm must be unloaded and secured.
- The firearm (and ammunition) cannot be readily accessible by the driver or any passengers.
- The firearm and the ammunition cannot be stored in the glove compartment or passenger console.
- If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the glove compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be stored in a locked compartment other than the glove compartment or console.
Additional Notes About MD Handgun Law
Does MD Law Incorporate Stand Your Ground?
The Stand Your Ground law permits you to use force, and not retreat, when faced with a threat. Stand Your Ground protects your use of force, even deadly force, when used to protect yourself or others if you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death. To be protected under Stand Your Ground, you must be in a place where you have the lawful right to be.
Does MD Law Incorporate the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is similar to Stand Your Ground. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force (even deadly force), and not retreat, when you’re in your own home. This again assumes you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death on yourself or others in your home.
This ‘castle’ is sometimes broadened to cover you when you’re in your yard, car, etc. Each state’s Castle Doctrine law is written differently – consult your state’s law to confirm if your state extends the meaning of a ‘castle’ to cover more than just your home.
Large Capacity Magazines, i.e. any magazine that can accept greater than 10 rounds of ammunition, cannot be sold, manufactured, or transferred within MD. Possession of said magazines is legal however.
Reciprocity – What State Permits Does MD Recognize?
None. MD does not honor any other states’ permits.
Reciprocity – Where is the MD Permit Recognized?
The MD concealed carry permit is recognized in the following states:
- November 4, 2017 – Note on large capacity magazines fixed.