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Can I Carry A Concealed Weapon In Maryland?

Maryland law defines a handgun as a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person. A short-barreled shotgun and a short-barreled rifle are within the definition, while a shotgun, rifle, or antique firearm is not. A permit “means a permit issued by the Secretary to carry, wear, or transport a handgun.”  Maryland law mandates that a person shall have a permit before the person "carries, wears, or transports a handgun.”  Although there are exceptions, it is a crime “to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person” without such a permit. Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. § 4-203. There are other exceptions in the law. Obviously, it is not a crime for a law enforcement officer or correctional officer to carry their service weapon. It is additionally not illegal to carry a contained, unloaded handgun to or from the point of sale,  between residences, or between your business and your residence.  One may also legally transport a contained, unloaded handgun to and from legitimate target and sporting shooting or hunting events. Moreover, one may carry a handgun in their own home, on their own property, or in their own business establishment. A "Wear and Carry" permit can be obtained, if the appropriate criteria are met through the Maryland State Police, Licensing  Division:

 https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision.aspx

Without that permit, a first violation carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 3 years. The penalties increase substantially for subsequent offenses. The successful applicant for a permit must show that they: are an adult who: has not been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than 1 year has been imposed; has not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance; is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance;  has successfully completed prior to application and each renewal, a firearms training course approved by the Secretary [unless excused]; 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 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.

One Maryland court as said that apprehended danger is an objective standard, “and means something more than personal anxiety”  and “more than the concern the individual may have because he has been told by another”. Snowden v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 45 Md. App. 464 (1980). It is not a subjective standard. Rather, the permitting authority determines if the applicant reasonably apprehends danger, regardless of what the applicant subjectively thinks about his or her situation. The full is of the qualifying factors can be found here: 

https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/Firearms/WearandCarryPermit.aspx

     -This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 9/17/21.  

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