Firearms in the state of Maryland can be defined in one of two ways: regulated and non-regulated. Non-regulated firearms include most rifles and shotguns, while regulated firearms include most handguns and revolvers and require a Handgun Qualification License.
Non-Regulated Firearm Sale
A non-regulated firearm sale will forgo the Maryland State Police background check and waiting period. Instead, we will use the same Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) form described above. We can contact an BATFE hotline and perform an instant background check, and once we're allowed to proceed, you can leave the store with your new purchase.
Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL)
As of October 1, 2013, the process of purchasing a regulated firearm in the state of Maryland has changed. Purchasers must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL), or qualify for an exemption.
- Download our Step-by-Step HQL Application Guide.
- Sign up for an upcoming Handgun Qualification License class at FreeState.
For more information on the HQL or reasons for exemption, visit the Maryland State Police website.
What to Bring When Buying a Firearm
To make the process as easy as possible, please bring the following when you plan to purchase or transfer a regulated firearm:
- Maryland Handgun Qualification License
- Valid driver's license or other government-issued ID
- Change of address card (if applicable)
- Military or police ID (if applicable)
- Maryland Concealed Handgun permit (if applicable)
You'll need to complete a few forms for the state of Maryland, the BATFE, and our own personal records. Once the paperwork is completed, there will be a mandatory waiting period to ensure you have not been disapproved to own a firearm. After the waiting period, we'll call you to come in and pick up your firearm.