Unless otherwise exempt, as of October 1, 2013, a Maryland resident must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License before he/she may purchase, rent, or receive a handgun. Details on exemptions may be found below.
You do not need a Handgun Qualification License to own a gun if you already have one.
The Handgun Qualification License is only needed for purchasing, transferring, or renting a regulated firearm after October 1, 2013.
Residency exemptions have been made for active military personnel and their spouses.
Who Should Apply?
A person may not purchase, rent, or receive a handgun after October 1, 2013 unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) issued by the Maryland State Police or qualify for exemption status.
Exceptions to possession of the HQL License
- A Licensed Firearms Manufacturer.
- Active law enforcement officer 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.
- Active or retired member of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and possesses a valid military identification card.
- A person purchasing, renting or receiving an antique, curio or relic as defined in federal law.
- Maryland licensed firearms dealers. (Sole Proprietors)