Maryland Wear and Carry Permits
Who Can Get a Maryland Carry Permit?
You have probably heard the MYTH that it is impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit in Maryland.
Many people qualify for a carry permit and don’t even know it!
Although the process can be difficult, we have helped many of our members obtain a carry permit.
This informational guide can start you down the path to carrying legally in Maryland.
Why Citizens Should Carry
In Maryland, there is no procedure to immediately obtain a carry permit if you are ever threatened. If you need a permit right away, you are already 6-9 months too late. That is how long it usually takes to navigate Maryland's extensive application process, even if you are in immediate danger. If you can, obtain a carry permit now, so you have it should you ever encounter the need for armed self defense.
Are you Eligible for a Permit?
Maryland is a may issue state unlike the vast majority of other states in our country. Maryland law requires you to provide a "Good and Substantial" (G&S) reason before issuing an individual a carry permit. G&S is the greatest hurdle for most citizens. This is what MSI is working to change. We need your help as a member!
The Maryland State Police - Licensing Division (MSP-LD) currently recognizes the following categories as G&S:
Businesses/Employees with Cash-flow
Do you own or work for a business where you handle funds (cash, checks, or electronic) or other valuables? You might be eligible to carry.
Assumed Risk Professionals
Does your profession place you at risk greater than that of other professions, such as judges, prosecutors, or security guards? You might be eligible to carry.
Threatened or Victimized Individuals
Do you have documented reports of threats, crimes, or attacks against you? You might be eligible to carry.
Applying outside of these few recognized G&S reasons usually results in a denied or rejected application.
Training must be completed before applying for the permit. Unless otherwise exempt from the training requirements, an applicant will need to seek a MSP Qualified or Certified Handgun Instructor and complete a 16-hour training course for an initial application. At minimum, 70% accuracy must be achieved by the applicant during the shooting portion of the class to pass. These classes often run anywhere from $250 to $400 and up. An 8-hour course will be required upon renewal of an issued permit.
Download the application from the Maryland State Police Licensing Division:
Once you have completed the application (PDF) electronically (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to do this), print and sign it. Your G&S must be addressed in Question 23 of the application. Submit all required and relevant documentation with your application. It is better to provide overabundant information rather than too little -- attachments for this section are encouraged!
Along with your completed application, you will be required to submit:
• Proof of Training (or DD214)
• LIVESCAN Fingerprints
• Application Fee of $75
• Passport Photos
If the initial background checks go well, you will then have a face-to-face interview with a MSP trooper or investigator. You will be asked a variety of personal questions. The interviewer will determine if you are required to submit any additional information and will make a recommendation concerning your permit application. Then the Licensing Division will issue their final determination and advise the applicant.
If you are denied outright by the MSP, or if your permit contains unacceptable restrictions, further options are available to you in seeking the issuance or modification of your permit. Within 10 days of your denial, you must appeal to either the MSP and ask for an informal Review, or you may appeal to the Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board (HPRB). Appeals may also be taken to the HPRB within 10 days of any decision of the MSP after the Informal Review.
Maryland State Police Informal Review
The MSP will allow you to come in and present any further information regarding your denial to more senior management within the MSP-LD. Unless you provide significant new information at that time, you are unlikely to affect their initial decision.
Maryland HPRB Formal Appeal
The HPRB is appointed by the governor and is a check and balance on the MSP's authority to issue and deny permits. The HPRB has the power to overturn the MSP's decision if they deem fit. The HPRB is composed of 5 of our fellow citizens. An attorney is optional but recommended at this hearing.
Office of Administrative Hearings
Effective October 1, 2018, any party (including the MSP) who loses before the HPRB may request a formal, trial-type "de novo" hearing before and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the Office of Administrative Hearings. There are roughly 55 ALJs in this office. In such a proceedings, the only focus is on whether the MSP's decision should be sustained. The ALJ does not review the Board's decision and the Board's decision is given no weight. An attorney is not legally required but is quite necessary as a practical matter. Decisions of the ALJ can be appealed to circuit court.
Why Even LEOs Should Consider Carry Permits
Surprisingly, the MSP will frequently refuse to issue permits to inactive LEOs, telling them they are ineligible, especially if they have waited more than a year to apply once separated from their active service as a Law Enforcement Officer.
During administrative suspensions or while on lengthy disability, officers will often have their issued firearms recalled.
Also, LEOSA re-certification may not be readily available, especially if you are injured traveling, or apply during budget cuts.