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)   Subject to subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary shall issue a permit within a reasonable time to a person who the Secretary finds:
(1)   is an adult;
(2)    (i)   has not been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than 1 year has been imposed; or
(ii)   if convicted of a crime described in item (i) of this item, has been pardoned or has been granted relief under 18 U.S.C. § 925(c);
(3)   has not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;
(4)   is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless the habitual use of the controlled dangerous substance is under legitimate medical direction;
(5)   except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, has successfully completed prior to application and each renewal, a firearms training course approved by the Secretary that includes:
(i)    1.   for an initial application, a minimum of 16 hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor; or
2.   for a renewal application, 8 hours of instruction by a qualified handgun instructor;
(ii)   classroom instruction on:
1.   State firearm law;
2.   home firearm safety; and
3.   handgun mechanisms and operation; and
(iii)   a firearms qualification component that demonstrates the applicant’s proficiency and use of the firearm; and
(6)   based on an investigation:
(i)   has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person’s possession of a handgun a danger to the person or to another; and
(ii)   has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.
(b)   An applicant for a permit is not required to complete a certified firearms training course under subsection (a) of this section if the applicant:
(1)   is a law enforcement officer or a person who is retired in good standing from service with a law enforcement agency of the United States, the State, or any local law enforcement agency in the State;
(2)   is a member, retired member, or honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard;
(3)   is a qualified handgun instructor; or
(4)   has completed a firearms training course approved by the Secretary.
(c)   An applicant under the age of 30 years is qualified only if the Secretary finds that the applicant has not been:
(1)   committed to a detention, training, or correctional institution for juveniles for longer than 1 year after an adjudication of delinquency by a juvenile court; or
(2)   adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court for:
(i)   an act that would be a crime of violence if committed by an adult;
(ii)   an act that would be a felony in this State if committed by an adult; or
(iii)   an act that would be a misdemeanor in this State that carries a statutory penalty of more than 2 years if committed by an adult.
(d)   The Secretary may issue a handgun qualification license, without an additional application or fee, to a person who:
(1)   meets the requirements for issuance of a permit under this section; and
(2)   does not have a handgun qualification license issued under § 5–117.1 of this title.