Maryland Non-Resident Permit: Firearms Concealed Carry Permit

4 min read

a man is aiming a gun at a target
a man is aiming a gun at a target

Securing the right to carry a concealed firearm as a non-resident in Maryland is a privilege that comes with significant responsibility.

Maryland's stringent regulations mean that missing a single step can result in delays or even denial of your application.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from eligibility requirements to the final submission, ensuring you’re fully prepared and compliant with Maryland’s laws.

Maryland Concealed Carry Permit

A Maryland concealed carry permit, more correctly called a Wear and Carry permit, grants individuals the legal right to carry a concealed firearm within the state.

This permit is essential for those who wish to carry a handgun for personal protection or other lawful purposes, especially considering that open carry in the state is prohibited as of October 1, 2023.

However, it's important to understand the rights and limitations that come with this permit.

The Maryland Wear and Carry permit does not authorize carrying firearms in certain restricted areas, such as schools, government buildings, and private properties that prohibit firearms.

Additionally, individuals must always carry their permit when in possession of a concealed firearm and be prepared to show it upon request by law enforcement.

Permit holders must comply with any firearm regulations specific to local jurisdictions within Maryland.

Maryland Non-Resident Carry Permit Requirements

To successfully obtain a Maryland non-resident carry permit, applicants must meet several specific criteria.

Once you complete the requirements and receive your permit by mail, you can enjoy the same Wear and Carry benefits and rights that qualifying in-state residents do.

Meet State of Maryland Criteria

To be eligible for a Maryland non-resident permit, applicants must meet the state’s stringent criteria.

You must be at least 21 years old. Applicants between 18 and 21 years of age may only be issued a permit to possess a regulated firearm under specific circumstances.

Additionally, you must not have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than a year has been imposed.

Maryland law also disqualifies addicts, individuals who are habitual users of controlled dangerous substances, and those who have exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render possession of a handgun a danger to the person or others.

Firearms Training Course

A critical component of the MD Wear and Carry permit application is the successful completion of a Maryland State Police approved firearms training course. This course must be completed within two years prior to submitting your application.

The training includes classroom instruction and live-fire exercises with a professional instructor and covers essential topics such as firearm safety, state laws regarding the carrying and use of handguns, and conflict de-escalation techniques.

Completion of this course ensures that applicants are well-prepared to handle a concealed firearm responsibly and legally within Maryland.


All applicants must submit their fingerprints as part of the background check process. You must find a fingerprinting service provider located in Maryland and approved by the state to ensure your prints are processed correctly.

The fingerprinting is used to verify your identity and check for any criminal history that may disqualify you from obtaining a license to carry.

Keep a receipt for your fingerprinting service. You will need to include this proof when you submit your application.

Passport-Style Photo

A recent passport-style photo is required for the carry permit application or request.

This photo must meet specific criteria: it should be a clear, color image taken within the last 30 days, showing your full face without any head coverings unless worn for religious or medical reasons.

You'll find detailed instructions regarding the photo and its submission in the licensing portal.

Background Check

A thorough background check is mandatory for all applicants. This check ensures that you have no disqualifying criminal history, such as being convicted of a felony, exhibiting a propensity for violence, or being a habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance.

The background check will also confirm that you have not been diagnosed with any mental disorder that may render you unsafe to carry a firearm.

This comprehensive vetting process is designed to maintain public safety and ensure that only qualified individuals are granted a permit.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Holding a Maryland concealed carry permit confers significant rights, allowing you to legally carry a concealed handgun for personal protection. With these rights come important responsibilities to ensure both your safety and the safety of others.

Permit holders must always carry their permit and be prepared to present it to law enforcement upon request.

Your permit does not grant unrestricted carry; there are specific places where firearms are prohibited, such as schools, government buildings, and private properties with posted firearm restrictions.

Additionally, permit holders must comply with all firearm laws in Maryland. This includes understanding the legal use of force, handling and storing firearms securely, and staying informed about any changes in state laws.

Engaging in reckless behavior, such as carrying while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can lead to revocation of your permit and legal consequences.

A regular renewal of your handgun permit is necessary. because your initial permit is only valid for about 2 years. The renewal process involves proving continued eligibility and possibly completing additional training.

Staying vigilant about renewal dates and requirements helps you avoid any lapses that could render your permit invalid.

Maryland Reciprocity

Maryland does not have reciprocity agreements with other states regarding concealed carry permits. This means that a concealed carry permit issued by another state is not recognized in Maryland.

If you are a non-resident wishing to carry a concealed firearm in Maryland, you must apply for a Maryland non-resident permit.

Carrying a concealed firearm without a valid Maryland permit is illegal and can lead to severe legal consequences.

Interestingly, many states will honor Maryland permits, but you should always be sure you are in compliance with state laws when traveling with a firearm.

Maryland Non-Resident Wear and Carry Permit Renewal

Renewing your Maryland concealed carry permit is a straightforward but essential process to maintain your legal right to carry a concealed firearm.

Your first permit is valid for approximately 2 years, and you must start the renewal process before your current permit expires. Subsequent renewals will be valid for 3 years.

To renew, you need to submit a renewal application through the Maryland State Police's licensing portal, along with the necessary application fees, which are electronically collected at the time of submission.

It's important to provide proof that you have successfully completed a Maryland State Police approved firearms training course within 2 years prior to submitting the original or renewal application.

This ensures that your knowledge and skills are up-to-date. Be prepared to undergo another background check to confirm continued eligibility.

Timely renewal and subsequent compliance with all requirements help avoid any lapses that could invalidate your permit and allow you to continue carrying your firearm legally and responsibly in the state.