Let’s start with handguns to help you identify which pistols are approved for purchase.
The Maryland State Police, who has the final say on which handguns are permitted, has made it convenient to look up and determine the legalization status of almost any handgun through their Handgun Roster located on the MSP website. You can use this database to search for any handgun by manufacturer type, model number, and caliber. If the gun is listed in this database than it is APPROVED.
It is important to note that just because the manufacturer of the weapon you are searching for is listed does not mean it is approved. Each model’s skew number must be listed and approved. The only exception is if N/A is listed under Model Number in which case all the skews are approved.
If the handgun you would like to purchase is not listed here, then it is either A) banned or B) this particular firearm has not yet been submitted for review. In order to have a gun submitted for review you must submit a petition for that firearm on the MSP website here and wait for it to be approved or denied.
Now, let’s get to rifles.
The laws on which rifles are banned in Maryland are about as clear as mud, so it is best to reference the Maryland State Police Reviewed Firearms List which has a complete and detailed list of rifles that have been reviewed to date.
If the rifle is an AR-15, the gun must be stamped as a “heavy barrel” or the manufacturer must have some form of literature on their website or paperwork included with the gun that definitively states that the rifle has as heavy barrel, otherwise the gun is not legal in Maryland.
If you are purchasing a receiver or frame with the intended purpose to convert it into a pistol than you require a 7-day waiting period before you can purchase it. Any receiver frame patterned to accept standard AR-15 magazines also require a 7-day waiting period before purchase. The gun shop has the final say on whether or not there is a waiting period depending on the intended purpose of the receiver or frame.
Of course, like any good rule, there are exceptions. If you legally owned a weapon in another state that is banned in Maryland, you can still legally own that weapon in Maryland. However, as of 2018, binary triggers and bump stocks, both modifications that are used to make a weapon fire more rapidly are permanently banned and not permitted in Maryland even if they were previously legally owned in another state.
If you have ANY questions about whether or not the gun you want to purchase is legal in Maryland, please call your us at The Machine Gun Nest so that you’re not stuck buying a gun that you can’t shoot!