You didn’t think it would happen to you, but it did. The gun bug bit you, and it bit hard! You went to the range for the first time and fell in love with the feeling of aiming down range, pulling the trigger, the and then experiencing the adrenaline rush as bullet casings flew past you and littered the floor around you.

You had so much fun at your first gun range experience that now you want to be a gun owner yourself, but you don’t know how to buy a gun in Maryland.
You’re probably asking yourself questions like:

“What type of gun can I buy in Maryland?”
“Where can I buy a gun in Maryland?”
“What kind of license do I need?”“Do I need to register my gun and if so, who do I register it with?”

Gun laws are regulated at the state level which means every state’s gun laws are unique and before you purchase any firearm it is important to familiarize yourself with your state’s gun laws so that you can be sure adhere to them.

Ready to become a gun owner? We’ve got you covered with all the information you need to legally purchase a gun in Maryland so that you can start hitting the range soon, but this time with your very own firearm.

*Note: The gun process described above applies only to the purchase of handguns. Maryland does not require perspective gunowners to receive a permit to purchase or carry rifles and shotguns.

1. Obtain a Handgun Qualification License (HQL)
The first thing you’ll need to buy a gun in Maryland is a Handgun Qualification License (HQL). To apply for an HQL you’ll first need to undergo a Livescan digital fingerprint-background check. Once you receive the results back you will be able to submit your HQL application to the Maryland State Police. If you are approved by the MSP, you will receive both a digital copy (email) and a hard copy of your HQL certification within 30 days.

2. Pass the Firearms Safety Training Course
After you submit your HQL application to the Maryland State Police, you must complete a 4-hour Firearms Safety Training Course demonstrating proper technique to handle, load, and fire at least one round down range. There are multiple locations throughout Maryland where you can complete the course with a qualified instructor including right here at The Machine Gun Nest, however, you can also find the closet location to you here. Once you’ve successfully completed the training course you will be able to take your application to a licensed firearms dealer to finish the process.

* Licensed firearms manufacturers, Maryland licensed firearms dealers, active Maryland law enforcement, active or retired members of the United States Armed Forces, and honorably discharged members of the United States Armed Forces are not required to take the training course.

3. Submit Application to Purchase a Gun
In order to purchase your firearm, you will need your driver’s license and a printout of your HQL certification displaying your control number. The dealer will have you fill out a 4473 Firearms Transaction Record form which the dealer will submit to the Maryland State Police on your behalf to purchase the firearm. After completing the 4473 you must head over to the MSP website to complete a digital version of this form, Purchase a Regulated Firearm (MSP 77R). Once your application has been submitted you must wait seven days for your application to be processed and reviewed by MSP.

4. Picking Up Your Gun
On the eighth day after you’ve submitted your application you will receive an email updating you on its status. If receive an email stating that you are “Not Disapproved”, “Not Disapproved First Attempt”, or “Not Disapproved Initial Attempt” then you are approved to purchase a gun, and you can return to the dealer to pick up your firearm. You will need a copy of your MSP 77R and a MSP approved bore lock to purchase your firearm.

It’s official – you’re now a registered gunowner in the state of Maryland!

Now that you have your HQL you will not have to reapply for an HQL, however, you will have to complete the MSP paperwork and have it submitted by the dealer then wait seven days before you can pick up your gun.

Finally, remember that Maryland has a “One Gun Per Month” law that prohibits Maryland residents from purchasing multiple firearms within a 30-day period.