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Maryland Concealed Carry Laws

Last Updated: October 14, 2017

Disclaimer:  While the information provided here is legal in nature, it is not to be construed as legal advice, and is for educational and entertainment purposes only.  


With gun laws varying from state to state, it makes sense the rules on concealed carry for each state would also be a little different everywhere.

While buying a handgun is already a hassle in Maryland, the state has put up even more obstacles for anyone trying to get a CCW permit.

To help you out, we gathered all the info you’ll need to apply for the CCW permit in one easy-to-read guide so you can hopefully getting that permit in hand in no time!

Maryland Flag
Maryland Flag

First Things First

Maryland is a may-issue state.  This means, unfortunately, that the state might issue a permit if it thinks you are qualified, even if you fill out the forms correctly and provide all the information they ask for.

And non-residents?  Well, you can apply, but the state is notorious for not issuing permits, officially known as handgun wear and carry permits or a permit to carry (PTC), even to Maryland residents, so the chances of them issuing PTCs to non-residents is pretty slim.  You’d be better off applying for non-resident permits from Arizona, Florida, or Utah.

So what’s required? 

The application for a PTC is not too difficult to fill out, though before you submit it to the Secretary of the State Police, you’ll need to get a notarized letter stating the reasons why you are applying for a permit.

You will qualify for a PTC, if you:

  • Are 18 or older;
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor with a sentence of more than a year, or a conviction of a criminal offense with a sentence of more than years;
  • Have not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;
  • Are not an alcoholic, or an addict or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance (unless under legitimate medical direction);
  • Do not have a propensity for violence or instability that would cause you to be a danger to yourself or others (based on a background investigation);
  • Have a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun; and
  • Have completed the Maryland State Police approved firearms training course in the last 2 years before submitting the PTC application.

The training requirement isn’t too bad, though it does require 16 hours of instruction and you will need to pass a proficiency exam showing you actually know how to use your handgun.

The most common reason for being denied a PTC, though is the Secretary decides that the applicant does not have a good and substantial reason for carrying a handgun.  The reason typically needs to be something along the lines of having a protective order against someone who has threatened you.  A simple desire to be able to protect yourself against threats in general is not enough to get you the PTC.

You can try your luck and see if your reason for needing a PTC is accepted, and if it is, then you’re good to go!  If not, you can always appeal the decision, in writing, to the Secretary of the State Police, within 10 days of receiving your denial letter.  Otherwise, you can always request the Handgun Permit Review Board review the denial decision, by submitting a written request within 10 days of the denial.

If you are able to convince the Review Board or the Secretary to grant you the PTC, then you’ll just need to remember to renew the permit after 2 years, and then renew it every 3 years after that.  Every renewal requires you to go through all the steps again, however, even the training requirement, so be prepared and make sure you take the courses ahead of time!

Where do you think you’re going?

Even if you’ve managed to get through the gauntlet and gotten your hands on a PTC, there are still places where you are not allowed to carry your handgun.  

Firearms are prohibited, even with a PTC:

  • On school property;
  • Within 1000 feet of a public demonstration;
  • In legislative buildings;
  • On a commercial aircraft;
  • On dredge boats (but not other boats!);
  • In state buildings and surrounding grounds;
  • In state forests and parks;
  • At state highway rest areas;
  • In community adult rehabilitation centers;
  • In child care centers; and
  • In hotels and other lodging establishments where the owner believes firearms may be dangerous to other individuals.

If you find yourself having to go to any of these places, your best bet is to leave your gun in the car, preferably in a gun safe hidden out of sight, so you can go run your errands, and come back to your gun when you’re all done.


One of the benefits of being able to carry concealed, is that your PTC is also recognized in other states throughout the US, and you can continue to carry on your next vacation just like you would back home.

A Maryland PTC is recognized in:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Most of these states are more gun-friendly than Maryland, so you might get used to the gun laws out there and not want to go back!  You’ll want to take a look at our CCW guides for whichever state you’re planning on visiting, just to familiarize yourself with the gun laws on carrying while out there, and be aware of the differences you might need to be careful of.

Maryland reciprocity map
Blue States Honor Maryland PTC

Just visiting

If you’re planning on visiting Maryland and have a CCW permit from your home state, you’ll have to leave your permit and gun at home.  Maryland does not recognize CCW permits from any other states.  There are plenty of other states in the country to visit.  Just sayin’.

Carry On!

That’s it!  All you need to know about getting a Permit to Carry from Maryland!  Take a look at our recommendations for concealed holsters if you’re looking to put that new permit to good use, and don’t forget about CCW insurance, too!

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our Maryland gun laws page and brush up on your knowledge of general gun laws in the state!

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