Maryland Handgun Permit

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An example of a Handgun Permit (Circa 2013) issued by the Maryland State Police.
An example of a Handgun Permit (Circa 2013) issued by the Maryland State Police.

Purpose

Without a permit, Lawful Transport in Maryland is unloaded and restricted. Lawful carry in Maryland is only permitted under certain circumstances. Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

History

Prohibited Persons

Requirements

Application Procedure

"Good & Substantial" Reason Scheme

The Maryland General Assembly requires that you have a Good & Substantial Reason to carry a handgun.

The statutory term "good and substantial reason" should be interpreted by reference to the Second Amendment. In particular, the Maryland State Police should cease to interpret that phrase by reference to Scherr v. Handgun Review Permit Board, 163 Md.App. 417, 880 A.2d 1137 (2005), cert. denied, 390 Md. 92, 887 A.2d 656 (2005), and Snowden v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 45 Md.App. 464, 413 A.2d 295 (1980), cert. denied, 288 Md. 742 (1980), as those decisions predate District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S.Ct. 3020 (2010)(“citizens must be permitted to use handguns for the core lawful purpose of self-defense”).

For example, Scherr expressly rejected a number of arguments based on the Second Amendment, including the argument that the meaning of "good and substantial" must be construed by reference to the Second Amendment, solely on the ground that "the Second Amendment ... is not applicable to the States.'" See Scherr, 163 Md.App. at 443. That holding was overruled by McDonald, which squarely held that the Second Amendment "is fundamental to our Nation's scheme of ordered liberty and system of justice" and thus binding on the States. Moreover, both Scherr and McDonald merely affirmed an administrative interpretation given "good and substantial" by the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board. Yet, in Scherr, the interpretation at issue was literally "made up" by the Trooper reviewing the application. See Scherr, 163 Md.App. at 428. A "made up" interpretation is not entitled to weight.

The MSP has both the power and responsibility to interpret the meaning of "good and substantial" and it is not, in any way, "bound" by its prior decisions or practices with respect to the meaning of "good and substantial." An agency is free to change its interpretation of a statute at any time. See Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass'n, 135 S.Ct. 1199 (2015); Harvey v. Marshall, 158 Md.App. 355 (2004).

As set forth above, Heller and McDonald provide more than sufficient reason for the MSP to revisit its approach to the meaning of "good and substantial." The MSP should use the standard set forth by the Fourth Circuit in Woollard v. Gallagher, 712 F.3d 865 (4th Cir. 2013), where the court sustained the constitutionality of the “good and substantial reason” requirement only upon the finding that “the good-and-substantial-reason requirement ensures that those persons in palpable need of self-protection can arm themselves in public places where Maryland's various permit exceptions do not apply.” (712 F.3d at 880). The “palpable need” test is not a rigorous or difficult standard. Rather, it merely means that the applicant’s need is perceptible, perceivable, visible, noticeable, plausible, discernible, detectable, observable, or tangible; terms that are all synonyms for “palpable.”

The Application

Applications are available from the Maryland State Police website.

Fingerprints

Passport Photos

Training Requirements

Training Exemptions

References

Fees

Submitting the Application

Review Process

Investigation

The Maryland State Police initiate a records check in multiple databases [1]

  • Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DHMH)
  • National Instant Check System (NICS) - Pursuant to Federal law, NICS will only be queried for dealer sales of regulated firearms
  • National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Interstate Identification Index
  • NCIC Protection Order File
  • NCIC warrant check
  • NCIC stolen firearm check
  • Maryland Interagency Law Enforcement System (MILES) Civil Warrant/Order File
  • Maryland Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) - Identification Index System
  • Maryland Computerized Criminal History (CCH) On-Line
  • Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
  • Maryland Automated Firearms Services System (MAFSS)
  • Judicial Information System District Court of Maryland Civil System Inquiry and Update Menu
  • Judicial Information System District Court of Maryland Criminal System Inquiry
  • Judicial Information System District Court of Maryland Warrant System Menu
  • Maryland Division of Department of Parole and Probation
  • Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (ASSIST) database
  • 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Premise History
  • Maryland Comptroller’s “Caught in the web” database
Interview
  • In-person
  • Phone
Reference Checks
  • Character References
  • Spouse
  • Employer
Processing Time
  • Normal Processing time is 90 "Business Days"
  • Same Day Handgun Permit Processing: According to Maryland's Attorney General, “same day” HANDGUN permit processing is available, "if the threat is especially urgent"[2]


Denials & Appeals

Denial Codes

Code   Reason
0010 - Less than 18 years of age.
0020 - Convicted of a Felony.
0021 - Convicted of a Misdemeanor - SENTENCED FOR MORE THAN 1 (ONE) YEAR.
0022 - Convicted of a State misdemeanor - statutory penalty of more than 2 years.
0023 - Convicted of a Common Law Offense - Federal Prohibition - penalty of more than 2 years.
0030 - Committed to a detention/training/correctional institution for juveniles - More than 1 year.
0040 - Convicted of CDS -INCLUDING MARIJUANA.
0041 - Habitual User of CDS.
0042 - Habitual User of Alcohol.
0043 - Convicted of and Habitual User of CDS.
0050 - Propensity for Violence.
0051 - Propensity for Instability.
0052 - Propensity for Violence and Instability.
0060 - Lacks Good and Substantial Reason.
0070 - Federally Prohibited from purchasing/possession of firearm (CONVICTED OF CRIME PUNISHABLE FOR MORE  THAN 2 Yrs)
0080 - Prohibited due to military violation/record - DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE.
0090 - Prohibited to mental record.

Informal Review

Handgun Permit Review Board

Review
Hearing

Appeal to Circuit Court

Scope of Permit/Permit Restrictions

In general a permit is valid for each handgun legally in the possession of the person to whom the permit is issued. The Secretary may limit the geographic area, circumstances, or times of the day, week, month, or year in which a permit is effective.[3]

Restriction Codes

001 None
002 OFF DUTY HOURS WHILE EMPLOYED AS A ______ (NOT VALID FOR ANY OTHER EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES/ACTIVITIES – NOT VALID IN ANY COURT BUILDING)(MD ONLY)
003 BETWEEN RESIDENCE ______, AND DURING NORMAL BUSINESS ACTIVITIES AS ______ FOR SAME.(ON DUTY IN MD ONLY)
004 BETWEEN RESIDENCE, ANY MARYLAND LICENSED SECURITY GUARD/PRIVATE DET. AGENCY JOB ASSIGNMENT OR PROPERTY ONLY, AND WHILE ACTIVELY ENGAGED AS A MARYLAND CERTIFIED ARMED SECURITY GUARD/PRIVATE DET. FOR SAME. (ON DUTY IN MD ONLY)
004 BETWEEN RESIDENCE, ______ AND WHILE ACTIVELY ENGAGED AS A  SPECIAL POLICE OFFICER/ARMORED CAR DRIVER/GUARD FOR SAME. (ON DUTY IN MD ONLY)
005 ARMED ON ANY MARYLAND LICENSED SECURITY GUARD/PRIV. DET. AGENCY JOB ASSIGNMENT OR PROPERTY ONLY, AND WHILE ACTIVELY ENGAGED AS A MARYLAND CERTIFIED ARMED SECURITY GUARD/PRIV. DET. FOR SAME.(ON DUTY IN MD ONLY)
005 ARMED ON ______ JOB ASSIGNMENT OR PROPERTY ONLY, AND WHILE ACTIVELY ENGAGED AS A ______/SPECIAL POLICE OFFICER/ARMORED CAR DRIVER/GUARD FOR SAME. (ON DUTY IN MD ONLY)

001 N/A
002 For off-duty use only/Off-duty hours (second job eliminates)
003 Between residence and ______
* Not valid on any Licensed Child Care Facility Property.
* Not Valid in Hospitals that Prohibit Firearms
004 While on-duty only? 
005 While off-duty?

Carrying Outside of Restrictions

Prohibited Places

Federal

State

​Restriction on the wear, carry and transport of handguns and firearms in certain places appear throughout Maryland law and regulations. Below are statutes and regulations detailing the handgun and firearm restrictions. This list should not be considered all-inclusive.

  • On school property (CR 4-102)
  • Within 1,000 feet of a demonstration in a public place (CR 4-208)
  • In legislative buildings (SG 2-1702)
  • On dredge boats (NR 4-1013)
  • In/On State public buildings and grounds (COMAR 04.05.01.03)
  • On Chesapeake Forest Lands (COMAR 08.01.07.14)
  • On State Forests (COMAR 08.07.01.04)
  • On State Parks (COMAR 08.07.06.04)
  • On State Highways (COMAR 11.04.07.12)
  • In community adult rehabilitation centers (COMAR 12.02.03.10)
  • In child care centers, except for small centers located in residences (COMAR 13A.16.10.04)​
  • In lodging establishments where the innkeeper reasonably believes individuals possesses property that may be dangerous to other individuals, such as firearms or explosives (BR 15-203)
  • On an aircraft engaged in air commerce services (TR 5-1008)

Drugs & Alcohol

Carrying, wearing, or transporting handgun while under influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. A person who holds a permit may not wear, carry, or transport a handgun while the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $ 1,000 or both. [4]

Duty to Inform

There is no duty to inform in Maryland, but the permit must be carried when in possession of a handgun.[5]

Lawful Use for Self Defense

Annotated Code

Case Law

Jury Instructions

Permit Term & Renewal

Original Applications

Original Handgun Permits are issued for at least 2 years and expire at the end of the last day of the applicant's birth month.

Renewal Applications

Renewal permits are issued for a term of 3 years and expire at the end of the last day of the applicant's birth month.

Deadlines & Processing Times

The Maryland State Police recommend that renewal applications be submitted 90 days, but not more than 90 days prior to expiration.

SUBTITLE 2 of the ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT allows:
If, at least 2 calendar weeks before a license expires, the licensee makes sufficient application for renewal of the license, the license does not expire until the unit takes final action on the application; and either: the time for seeking judicial review of the action expires; or any judicial stay of the unit's final action expires. [6]

Lost Permits

Permit Information Confidential

Reciprocity

The following states recognize Maryland Handgun Permits

Note: It is always best to consult with each individual state's regulatory authority in advance.

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia* (A valid concealed handgun permit issued by the State of Maryland shall be valid in the Commonwealth provided, (i) the holder of the permit is licensed in the State of Maryland to perform duties substantially similar to those performed by Virginia branch pilots licensed pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 54.1-900 et seq.) of Title 54.1 and is performing such duties while in the Commonwealth, and (ii) the holder of the permit is 21 years of age or older. (A Branch Pilot is responsible for safe passage of ships in Virginia's major shipping lanes and waterways)

  • Wisconsin

Maryland Recognizes The Following States' Handgun Permits

All States* (Armored car drivers who possesses a valid permits from other states, who are on duty in Maryland).[7]

References

  1. The List of the Databases Checked by the Maryland State Police for Gun Purchases, The Official Website of Delegate Mike Smigiel, the 36th District.
  2. Wollard v. Sheridan, Doulas Gansler, Atty. General, Appeal: 12-1437 Filed 06/15/2012
  3. Md. PUBLIC SAFETY Code Ann. § 5-307 Retrieved 21 August 2015
  4. Md. PUBLIC SAFETY Code Ann. § 5-314. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  5. [http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/Statute_Web/gps/5-308.pdf Md. Code, Public Safety § 5-308
  6. Md. STATE GOVERNMENT Code Ann. § 10-226 (2014)
  7. Source: 15 U.S.C. §5902 (a) Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act & Md. PUBLIC SAFETY Code Ann. § 5-305.