Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms


An antique firearm is defined as a firearm manufactured before 1899, or any replica thereof, which is not designed for firing fixed ammunition or which uses fixed ammunition and is no longer manufactured in the United States or readily available commercially. Antique firearms are exempt from certain requirements of state law.

Carrying and Transportation in Vehicles

It is unlawful for any person without a permit to wear or carry a handgun, openly or concealed, upon or about his person.  It is also unlawful for any person to knowingly transport a handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, highways, waterways or airways, or upon roads or parking lots generally used by the public. This does not apply to any person wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun within the confines of real estate owned or leased by him, or on which he resides, or within the confines of a business establishment owned or leased by him.


Machine Guns

A machine gun is defined as a loaded or unloaded weapon wherein more than one shot may be automatically discharged from a magazine by a single function of the firing device.

Possession of a machine gun for an aggressive or offensive purpose is prohibited. A machine gun must be registered within 24 hours of acquisition and annually thereafter with the Secretary of Police. There is a $10 fee.



It is unlawful to alter or obliterate the manufacturer’s identification mark or number on any firearm. Any person in possession of such a weapon will be presumed to have committed the offense.


Permit To Carry

Application for a permit to carry a handgun is made to the Secretary of State Police.  In addition to the printed application form, the applicant should submit a notarized letter stating the reasons why he is applying for a permit.



Subject to some exceptions, possession of “assault weapons” is generally prohibited in Maryland.  Additionally, Maryland’s prohibited person categories for possession of firearms are more extensive than federal law.



The state generally preempts all aspects of firearm and ammunition regulation.



Maryland does not regulate the sale of rifles or shotguns and no permit is required to purchase a rifle or shotgun that is not an “assault weapon.”


Range Protection

§ 5-403. 1. Sport shooting ranges