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Maryland Open Carry Laws


This article is meant to take a look at Maryland’s open and concealed carry laws so that you folks can get a better idea what is and is not legal in the state.

In the state of Maryland, it is illegal for anybody without a permit to wear or carry a handgun, openly or concealed.  It is also unlawful for any person to knowingly transport a handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, highways, waterways or airways, or upon roads or parking lots generally used by the public. This does not apply to any person wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun within the confines of real estate owned or leased by him, or on which he resides, or within the confines of a business establishment owned or leased by him.

A person may transport a handgun if they can demonstrate that the handgun is being carried, worn or transported:

  • To or from a place of legal purchase or sale, or repair shop;
  • Between a person’s bona fide residences, or between his residence and place of business, if the business is operated and substantially owned by that person;
  • While engaged in, or traveling to and from a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, trapping, or dog obedience training class or show; or
  • By a bona fide gun collector who is moving any part or all of his gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition.

During transportation to and from the above places, the handgun must also be unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or enclosed holster.  

Now that is for people who are allowed to receive a carry license. For the following people, even that is not possible, as these will make it so you cannot carry a weapon in the state of Maryland. If you are…

  • younger than 21 years old
  • someone who has been convicted of certain disqualifying crimes
  • a fugitive from justice
  • a “habitual drunkard”
  • addicted to and a user of a controlled substance
  • a person who has spent more than 30 consecutive days in a medical institution for a mental disorder (unless your doctor certifies that you would not pose undue danger to yourself or others if you possessed a firearm)
  • someone with certain lawsuits pending against you
  • someone who has committed certain juvenile crimes that would have been a disqualifying crime if you had been an adult at the time the crime was committed, and you are younger than 30 years old when you apply for a permit to carry a firearm.

Now, there are certainly additional questions as well as more in-depth looks into such things as gun penalties and what public places do or do not allow them. We will be going over those in specific articles, later on, due to the complexity of some of the situations. For right now, however, we have a wonderful FAQ page on our Maryland site with a lot of helpful information.

If you have specific questions that you would like covered in future articles about Maryland’s open carry laws, shoot us a comment below, and we will make sure to add them to future reports.


Information compounded from the NRA and Maryland state legal texts.

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