Maryland Concealed Handgun Permit

It is extremely important that if you obtain a Maryland concealed handgun permit,
you must be aware of all the current laws and requirements of this state.
A Maryland permit does not supersede any other state's laws or requirements.

* In Maryland it is almost impossible to obtain a permit. An applicant must show documented evidence of recent threats, robberies, and/or assaults, supported by official police reports or notarized statements from witnesses, and has a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.
* Business owners who do not live in Maryland may also apply for a permit.
* For more information see the Eligibility section below.

The permit is valid for 3 years and 3 years upon each renewal
The permit initial Handgun Permit expires on the last day of the holder’s birth month following two (2) years after the date the permit is issued. Permits that have been modified or are a duplicate expire on the date provided on the initial permit. A Handgun Permit may be renewed for successive periods of three (3) years each if, at the time of an application for renewal, the applicant possesses the qualifications for the issuance of a permit and pays the renewal fee as established in the subtitle. The renewal process is the responsibility of the applicant and should be started no less than 90 business days from expiration of the permit. Timely renewal is the responsibility of the permit holder. The Licensing Division does not send out renewal reminders.

Important Information

In order to obtain a permit in this state, you must provide a, “Good and substantial reason.”  If you submit applications for a carry permit without a good and substantial reason, your permit application will be returned to you.


Non-Residents - $75.00 (Fingerprint Fee Not Included)
Renewals - $50.00 (Fingerprint Fee Not Included)
Duplicate / Modification - $10.00
Fees must be paid by check or money order made payable to the Maryland State Police. Checks must be drawn on active accounts with sufficient funds. If the check is returned for insufficient funds or due to a closed account, the applicant will be required to pay for future requests of the Licensing Division by cashier’s check or money order.


The Secretary of State Police shall, pursuant to Md. Public Safety Code Ann. §5-306, Qualifications for Permit, shall issue a permit to a person who the Secretary finds:
1. Is an adult (18 years of age or older);
2. has not been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one (1) year has been imposed;
3. has not been convicted of crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;
4. is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless the habitual use of the controlled dangerous substance is under legitimate medical direction; and
5. based on an investigation; has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person’s possession of a handgun a danger to the person or to another; and has a good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.
The Md. Public Safety Code Ann. 5-301 to 5-314, Handgun Permits, and applicable case law, guides the Maryland State Police when processing applications and issuing Handgun Permits. Based on the guidance provided, Handgun Permits may be issued to applicants based on the below circumstances.
1. Owner or employee of a business. You must submit the following documentation to support a request based on business ownership/authorized employee:
a. submit photocopies of the Trader’s License or Business License, and
b. submit the identified items if the purpose of the Handgun Permit is for:
(i) Making Financial Deposits: photocopies of six (6) random deposit slips for the business showing the deposits within a year of the application submission date or a letter from the bank attesting that your business has a monetary flow.
(ii) Cash Flow: photocopies of ten (10) receipts showing purchases for supplies and/or payments received for services.
(iii) Requesting a permit for one of your employees, or if your employee and you have permission from your employer to obtain a permit: a letter from your employer on the business stationary, explaining, in detail, why you need to carry a firearm as part of your duties.
2. Professional Activities: Doctors, Pharmacists, etc., must show evidence of legitimacy of business activity and valid certification or license applicable to your activities.
3. Correctional Officers: Must submit verification of employment and documentation of threats and/or assaults (ie. police reports, facility incident reports, and intelligence reports).
4. Former Police Officers: If you have resigned or have retired, you must provide a photocopy of your retired I.D. card (front and back) and produce a letter from your former agency advising that you resigned/retired in good standing, your official resignation/retirement date and how many years of service.
NOTE: Permits are issued based on the "immediacy" of the application and years of service.
5. Private Detective/Security Guard/Special Police/Armored Car Guards: All applicants who are employed as Private Detectives, Security Guards, Special Police Officers and Armored Car Guards must submit a certification of qualification with a handgun obtained from a Maryland State Police Certified Handgun Instructor on a State Police form. A copy of the form letter supporting “good and substantial reasons,” ownership of weapon, and location where the weapon will be maintained, is also required. (This form can be obtained from your employer).
6. Personal Protection: There must be documented evidence of recent threats, robberies, and/or assaults, supported by official police reports or notarized statements from witnesses.

Training Required

There is no training required to obtain a permit.


What Must Accompany the Application

Provide the supporting documentation for the above listed circumstances (under WHO MAY APPLY) to justify the issuance of a permit.
1. Licensing Division – General Application – Completely, accurately, legibly, and truthfully completed in ink or by typing. MUST BE NOTARIZED
2. Fingerprints obtained from an authorized Electronic Fingerprint Processing Center. The receipt containing the tracking number must be submitted along with the application within 30 days of being fingerprinted.
3. Two 2 X 2 inch passport type photographs of the applicant from the shoulders up. The photos should be in color, and the applicant should not be wearing a hat or sunglasses.
4. Authorization for Release of Information form. MUST BE NOTARIZED
5. Reachable references willing to speak on the applicant’s behalf. Difficulty locating references will further delay the application process.
6. Details in response to a “yes” response of the application. This information must be complete and accurate as a background investigation will be completed. Use additional sheets, if necessary.
7. Any documentation to respond to issues concerning drug or alcohol abuse and/or addiction from the health care provider as to treatment and prognosis.
8. Any documentation to respond to occurrences by the applicant where he/she was institutionalized (voluntarily/involuntarily) for any psychological evaluation or treatment to include documentation from the health care provider as to treatment and prognosis.
9. If not a United States Citizen, provide one of the following documents; Permanent Resident Card, Employment Authorization Card, Birth Certificate (born abroad) and form I-94. If you are a Naturalized Citizen; provide one of the following; copy of your Naturalization Papers; a valid U.S. Passport.

Application Process

Your application must be accepted by the Maryland State Police within 30 days of your fingerprints being obtained by way of a live scan or similar approved electronic fingerprint collection system.
Upon receipt of the application, the proper fee, and all required documents and information, a review of the application packet will begin. Those applications determined to be incomplete, inaccurate and/or with purposeful omissions will be returned to the sender/company. The fee is non-refundable and a criminal investigation of the applicant and/or submitter may be initiated. Returned applications are not considered received by the Licensing Division until they are returned satisfactorily completed with the necessary attachments and fees.
A background investigation to include, but not limited to, a fingerprint generated criminal history will be initiated on those applications accurately submitted in their entirety. The date the background is initiated depends on the accuracy, truthfulness, and completeness of the submission. The Maryland State Police will investigate the character, reputation, and qualifications of each applicant and shall:
* Include an investigation of the applicant’s criminal record, including record checks of local police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
* References will be contacted. It is important to supply references that know you and those that will speak to investigators on your behalf. Difficulty locating references will further delay the application process.
* In making a determination as to whether a permit will be issued to the applicant, the following areas will be a part of every investigation and will be considered in determining whether a permit will be issued:
1. Verification of the information supplied by the applicant in the application and associated documents;
2. Occupation or profession of the applicant;
3. Geographical area of residence and employment of the applicant;
4. Criminal record of applicant, including any juvenile record for an applicant younger than 30 years old, as specifically outlined in Public Safety Article §5-306, Annotated Code of Maryland;
5. Medical history of applicant as it may pertain to the applicant’s fitness to wear, carry, or transport a handgun;
6. Psychiatric or psychological background of applicant as it may pertain to the applicant’s fitness to wear, carry, or transport a handgun;
7. Reasons given by the applicant as to whether those reasons are good and substantial;
8. Age of applicant;
9. Applicant’s use of intoxicating beverages and drugs;
10. Information received from personal references and other persons interviewed;
11. Information received from business or employment references as may be necessary in the discretion of the investigator;
12. Whether the applicant has any alternate available to him/her for protection other than the handgun permit;
13. Whether the applicant falls within those classes of individuals who do not need permits as outlined in the Handgun Permit Law;
14. The applicant’s propensity for violence or instability which could reasonably render his/her wearing, carrying, or  transporting of a handgun a danger to himself or other persons he/she may come in contact with;
15. Whether the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution for the applicant against apprehended danger.
* It is essential that sufficient supporting information be provided to assist the Department of State Police in the processing of Handgun Permit applications. Delays occur when submissions are absent supporting documents, references cannot be located or refuse to respond to questions, or false, inaccurate, or incomplete information is supplied on the application.
* The Secretary may limit the geographic area, circumstances, or times of the day, week, month, or year in which the permit is effective.
* It is important that the fee not be paid from closed accounts or those with insufficient funds. This will stop the application process and could result in criminal prosecution or forwarding to a collection agency.
* Please allow 90 business days for processing of all applications. Do not call the Maryland State Police regarding the status of your application unless you have not received notification within this time frame. For a prompt response. you may submit and inquiry via email to[email protected]


Where To Take The Application

Applications must be mailed to
Maryland State Police Licensing Division
1111 Reisterstown Road Pikesville, MD 21208
ATTN: Handgun Permit Unit
Phone: 410-653-4500
Fax: 410-653-5441
For FAQ's or to find out more information click here to view the Maryland State Police website.