About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Public Safety
(a)   In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b)   “Antique firearm” has the meaning stated in § 4–201 of the Criminal Law Article.
(b–1)    (1)   “Convicted of a disqualifying crime” includes:
(i)   a case in which a person received probation before judgment for a crime of violence; and
(ii)   a case in which a person received probation before judgment in a domestically related crime as defined in § 6–233 of the Criminal Procedure Article.
(2)   “Convicted of a disqualifying crime” does not include a case in which a person received a probation before judgment:
(i)   for assault in the second degree; or
(ii)   that was expunged under Title 10, Subtitle 1 of the Criminal Procedure Article.
(c)   “Crime of violence” means:
(1)   abduction;
(2)   arson in the first degree;
(3)   assault in the first or second degree;
(4)   burglary in the first, second, or third degree;
(5)   carjacking and armed carjacking;
(6)   escape in the first degree;
(7)   kidnapping;
(8)   voluntary manslaughter;
(9)   maiming as previously proscribed under former Article 27, § 386 of the Code;
(10)   mayhem as previously proscribed under former Article 27, § 384 of the Code;
(11)   murder in the first or second degree;
(12)   rape in the first or second degree;
(13)   robbery;
(14)   robbery with a dangerous weapon;
(15)   sexual offense in the first, second, or third degree;
(16)   home invasion under § 6–202(b) of the Criminal Law Article;
(17)   an attempt to commit any of the crimes listed in items (1) through (16) of this subsection; or
(18)   assault with intent to commit any of the crimes listed in items (1) through (16) of this subsection or a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year.
(d)   “Dealer” means a person who is engaged in the business of:
(1)   selling, renting, or transferring firearms at wholesale or retail; or
(2)   repairing firearms.
(e)   “Dealer’s license” means a State regulated firearms dealer’s license.
(f)   “Designated law enforcement agency” means a law enforcement agency that the Secretary designates to process applications to purchase regulated firearms for secondary sales.
(g)   “Disqualifying crime” means:
(1)   a crime of violence;
(2)   a violation classified as a felony in the State; or
(3)   a violation classified as a misdemeanor in the State that carries a statutory penalty of more than 2 years.
(h)    (1)   “Firearm” means:
(i)   a weapon that expels, is designed to expel, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; or
(ii)   the frame or receiver of such a weapon.
(2)   “Firearm” includes a starter gun.
(i)   “Firearm applicant” means a person who makes a firearm application.
(j)   “Firearm application” means an application to purchase, rent, or transfer a regulated firearm.
(k)   “Fugitive from justice” means a person who has fled to avoid prosecution or giving testimony in a criminal proceeding.
(l)   “Habitual drunkard” means a person who has been found guilty of any three crimes under § 21–902(a), (b), or (c) of the Transportation Article, one of which occurred in the past year.
(m)   “Habitual user” means a person who has been found guilty of two controlled dangerous substance crimes, one of which occurred in the past 5 years.
(n)    (1)   “Handgun” means a firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
(2)   “Handgun” includes signal, starter, and blank pistols.
(o)   “Handgun qualification license” means a license issued by the Secretary that authorizes a person to purchase, rent, or receive a handgun.
(p)   “Licensee” means a person who holds a dealer’s license.
(q)   “Qualified handgun instructor” means a certified firearms instructor who:
(1)   is recognized by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training commissions;
(2)   has a qualified handgun instructor license issued by the Secretary; or
(3)   has a certification issued by a nationally recognized firearms organization.
(r)   “Regulated firearm” means:
(1)   a handgun; or
(2)   a firearm that is any of the following specific assault weapons or their copies, regardless of which company produced and manufactured that assault weapon:
(i)   American Arms Spectre da Semiautomatic carbine;
(ii)   AK–47 in all forms;
(iii)   Algimec AGM–1 type semi–auto;
(iv)   AR 100 type semi–auto;
(v)   AR 180 type semi–auto;
(vi)   Argentine L.S.R. semi–auto;
(vii)   Australian Automatic Arms SAR type semi–auto;
(viii)   Auto–Ordnance Thompson M1 and 1927 semi–automatics;
(ix)   Barrett light .50 cal. semi–auto;
(x)   Beretta AR70 type semi–auto;
(xi)   Bushmaster semi–auto rifle;
(xii)   Calico models M–100 and M–900;
(xiii)   CIS SR 88 type semi–auto;
(xiv)   Claridge HI TEC C–9 carbines;
(xv)   Colt AR–15, CAR–15, and all imitations except Colt AR–15 Sporter H–BAR rifle;
(xvi)   Daewoo MAX 1 and MAX 2, aka AR 100, 110C, K–1, and K–2;
(xvii)   Dragunov Chinese made semi–auto;
(xviii)   Famas semi–auto (.223 caliber);
(xix)   Feather AT–9 semi–auto;
(xx)   FN LAR and FN FAL assault rifle;
(xxi)   FNC semi–auto type carbine;
(xxii)   F.I.E./Franchi LAW 12 and SPAS 12 assault shotgun;
(xxiii)   Steyr–AUG–SA semi–auto;
(xxiv)   Galil models AR and ARM semi–auto;
(xxv)   Heckler and Koch HK–91 A3, HK–93 A2, HK–94 A2 and A3;
(xxvi)   Holmes model 88 shotgun;
(xxvii)   Avtomat Kalashnikov semiautomatic rifle in any format;
(xxviii)   Manchester Arms “Commando” MK–45, MK–9;
(xxix)   Mandell TAC–1 semi–auto carbine;
(xxx)   Mossberg model 500 Bullpup assault shotgun;
(xxxi)   Sterling Mark 6;
(xxxii)   P.A.W.S. carbine;
(xxxiii)   Ruger mini–14 folding stock model (.223 caliber);
(xxxiv)   SIG 550/551 assault rifle (.223 caliber);
(xxxv)   SKS with detachable magazine;
(xxxvi)   AP–74 Commando type semi–auto;
(xxxvii)   Springfield Armory BM–59, SAR–48, G3, SAR–3, M–21 sniper rifle, M1A, excluding the M1 Garand;
(xxxviii)   Street sweeper assault type shotgun;
(xxxix)   Striker 12 assault shotgun in all formats;
(xl)   Unique F11 semi–auto type;
(xli)   Daewoo USAS 12 semi–auto shotgun;
(xlii)   UZI 9mm carbine or rifle;
(xliii)   Valmet M–76 and M–78 semi–auto;
(xliv)   Weaver Arms “Nighthawk” semi–auto carbine; or
(xlv)   Wilkinson Arms 9mm semi–auto “Terry”.
(s)   “Rent” means the temporary transfer for consideration of a regulated firearm that is taken from the property of the owner of the regulated firearm.
(t)   “Secondary sale” means a sale of a regulated firearm in which neither party to the sale:
(1)   is a licensee;
(2)   is licensed by the federal government as a firearms dealer;
(3)   devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of earning a profit through the repeated purchase and resale of firearms; or
(4)   repairs firearms as a regular course of trade or business.
(u)   “Secretary” means the Secretary of State Police or the Secretary’s designee.
(v)   “Straw purchase” means a sale of a regulated firearm in which a person uses another, known as the straw purchaser, to:
(1)   complete the application to purchase a regulated firearm;
(2)   take initial possession of the regulated firearm; and
(3)   subsequently transfer the regulated firearm to the person.