How Hard Is It To Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Maryland?

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gun in concealed carry holster
gun in concealed carry holster

How To Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in Maryland

How hard is it to get a concealed carry permit in Maryland? It's not as hard as you might think. While Maryland is known for its stringent gun laws, recent changes have made the process easier for law-abiding citizens.

Understanding the requirements, application process, and potential challenges can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a permit.

Requirements for Maryland Concealed Carry Permit

To obtain a concealed carry permit in Maryland, applicants must meet several stringent requirements set forth by Maryland law.

First, you must be at least 21 years old and a resident of Maryland or own a business within the state. However, non-residents can also be issued a CCP.

Additionally, you must not be prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, which includes not having any felony convictions or certain misdemeanor convictions.

Completing a firearms training course is also mandatory. The course must be conducted by a qualified handgun instructor and include both classroom instruction and a practical demonstration of firearm proficiency.

The training includes handgun mechanisms and operation, gun safety, live-fire drills, and Maryland’s firearm laws.

Additionally, applicants must submit their fingerprints, undergo a background check, and pay the required fees through the Maryland State Police Licensing Portal.

Once all requirements are fulfilled and the application has been submitted, the Licensing Division reviews the application to determine eligibility before a Maryland carry permit is issued.

Recent Changes in the Firearm Carry Laws

One of the most notable recent changes involves a requirement that presented a challenge to many people.

Previously, applicants needed to demonstrate a "good and substantial reason" to carry a handgun, which was often a barrier for many individuals. However, recent legal amendments have eliminated this requirement.

Another key change is the enhancement of training requirements. The Maryland State Police now mandate a comprehensive pre-approved training course for all applicants, including those seeking renewal.

This course includes extensive instruction on handgun safety, state firearm laws, and practical shooting proficiency.

Although fingerprinting is still required to obtain a permit, it is no longer required for permit renewal.

The introduction of an online licensing portal has streamlined the application process, allowing applicants to submit their applications, pay fees, and track the status of their applications more efficiently.

Required Training by a Qualified Handgun Instructor

To obtain a concealed carry permit in the state of Maryland, applicants must complete a Maryland State Police approved Wear and Carry permit training course prior to submitting an application.

This 16-hour course, conducted by a qualified handgun instructor, includes both classroom instruction and live-fire training.

Classroom topics cover handgun mechanisms and operation, gun safety, and Maryland's firearm laws to ensure applicants understand where it is permissible to wear and carry a concealed weapon and their legal responsibilities.

Upon completion, applicants receive certification, which is required for the permit application.

Renewing a handgun permit requires an 8-hour refresher training course to maintain competency and ensure public safety.

Applying for a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit

Applying for a concealed carry permit is a detailed process that requires careful attention to detail and thorough preparation.

What You'll Need

To apply for your firearm carry permit, Maryland requires you to meet several requirements and gather various documents. First, you need to complete a certified firearms training course.

This course, conducted by a qualified handgun instructor, includes both classroom and live-fire training.

You will also need to provide a completed Wear and Carry permit application, proof of age (at least 21 years old), and a valid government-issued ID.

Additionally, applicants must submit a passport-style photo and an electronic fingerprint transmission receipt for a background check. Everything is submitted online through the Maryland State Police Licensing Portal.

Costs and Fees

The initial application fee for a concealed carry permit is $125, which must be paid at the time of submission.

This fee covers the cost of processing your application and conducting the necessary background checks but does not include fingerprinting costs.

It is important to note that the first permit is valid for approximately two years, after which a renewal fee of $75 is required every three years. These fees are non-refundable, even if your application is denied.

Additional Costs

In addition to the standard application fee, obtaining a Maryland Wear and Carry permit involves several additional costs.

One of the primary costs is the mandatory firearms training course, which can range from $100 to $300. You will also incur costs for fingerprinting services, typically around $50-$90.

Other potential expenses include photos and purchasing a suitable handgun and any necessary safety equipment, such as a holster and a gun safe.

Application Processing Times

The processing time for a Maryland Wear and Carry permit generally takes between 60 to 90 days.

After submitting the application through the Maryland State Police Licensing Portal, the Licensing Division will conduct a thorough background check, verify the completion of the required training, and review all submitted documents.

The issuance of a permit renewal can be delayed if the application is incomplete or if additional information is needed. Applicants will be notified by mail once a decision has been made regarding their permit application.

Maryland Reciprocity Laws

Maryland’s reciprocity laws concerning concealed carry permits are quite strict compared to other states. Currently, Maryland does not honor concealed carry permits issued by another state.

This means that individuals who are legally allowed to carry a concealed firearm in their home state must apply for a Maryland Wear and Carry permit to lawfully carry a handgun within Maryland’s borders.

The state’s stringent regulations require that all applicants, including non-residents, meet the same criteria, including the completion of a firearms training course certified by the Maryland State Police.

Those planning to carry a handgun in Maryland must be aware of these laws to avoid legal issues and ensure compliance with state firearm regulations.

Renewing Your Handgun Permit

Renewing your Maryland handgun permit ensures you remain compliant with state laws and continue to legally carry a concealed firearm.

The process involves submitting a renewal application through the Licensing Portal before the expiration of the permit.

The renewal fee is $75, and you must provide proof of continued competency, typically through a refresher firearms training course conducted by a qualified handgun instructor.

Additionally, a new background check will be conducted to confirm that you are still eligible to hold a handgun permit. The handgun permit review board will review your renewal application, and if all requirements are met, your permit will be renewed for three years.

Timely renewal is important to avoid any lapse in your ability to legally carry a handgun in Maryland.

Tips for Getting Approved Quickly

  • Complete Your Application Thoroughly: Ensure every section of the application is fully and accurately filled out. Incomplete applications can lead to delays or rejections.

  • Submit Early: For renewals, submit your renewal application at least 90 days before the expiration of the permit. This allows ample time for processing and avoids any lapse in your ability to carry a handgun.

  • Follow Guidelines Precisely: Adhere strictly to the application process guidelines. This includes providing all required documents and information, such as proof of age, identification, and training certification.

  • Complete Certified Training: Enroll in a firearms training course certified by the Maryland State Police and conducted by a qualified handgun instructor well before the permit expires.

  • Gather All Necessary Documents: Have all your supporting documents ready before you start the application process. This includes your training certification, government-issued ID, photo, and fingerprinting results.

  • Use the Licensing Portal: Submit your application through the Maryland State Police Licensing Portal. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

  • Double-Check Your Submission: Review your application and all supporting documents for accuracy and completeness before submitting them. Errors or omissions can cause significant delays.

  • Stay Informed: Stay current with any changes in Maryland’s firearm laws and application procedures.

  • Follow Up if Necessary: If you haven’t received a response within the expected processing time (typically 60 to 90 days), contact the Maryland State Police Licensing Division to inquire about the status of your application.