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How do I buy a Handgun in Maryland?

Recently I (Evan) was discussing the new MD requirements in order to purchase a handgun in the state of Maryland with one of our biggest supporters and faithful alum. He had great insight as well as a understanding of the requirements. I asked him if he would document his process to obtain the HQ License in order to go through with his next purchase. Below is a transcript of what he sent over to us. Thanks Dave!


As required by new legislation enacted October 1st, 2013 to purchase, rent, and receive a regulated firearm in Maryland, I recently applied for my Handgun Qualification License.


The first step is to created an account on the Maryland State Police website,  Follow the link for Handgun Qualification License information.   Under “how to apply” you can access/create your account by clicking on the “here” link at the end of the first  sentence.  This will take you to the log in page, you will want to bookmark this page as you will be returning here often.  Here you will need to created an account.


Step 1: check for existing records

Step 2: Personal information and create a user ID and Password.


Once you create your account, log in and start a new application.(this page will be where your application can be accessed.)


Application Type Selection

Program: Firearms Services

License Type: Here you will need to select the appropriate license application type.

HQL Permit Exempt – for L.E.O., Active or Retired, MD Licensed Firearms Dealers,                                                                      and Active or retired Military or National Guard.

HQL Standard – for someone who does not already own a regulated firearm, will need a                                          qualified course registration number with a qualified instructors                                                       number later in the process.

HQL Training Exempt – For someone who already owns a regulated firearm,if you are                                                                      willing to register your firearm with the State Police, you will                                                                      need the make, model, caliber, color, point of origin and serial                                                                      number later in the process.


Application Method: only one to chose – Application


Choose Demographics on the left of the page – at this point you can update the info you input and come back to your account to add info as you get it. MD Drivers License/ID Number will be needed.


At some point before you submit your application you will need to get your fingerprints done, must be live scan, wet ink finger prints will not be excepted. Frederick County Sheriff’s Office does finger printing Tuesday – Thursday 12:00 – 5:00, the cost is $20.00 for the printing and 34.50 for the back ground check. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office does not accept cash.  You will receive a receipt with a scan number, you will need this number for the application.  I started an application through the training portal, thinking my NRA courses would be acceptable, they weren’t.  If you start an application through the wrong portal, i.e. training exempt, already own a regulated firearm, you can start a new application, you don’t need to start a new account.


I finished and submitted my application on October 4th and was approved on October 9th through mylicense website and received my HQL Card on October 14th.


I recently made my first purchase with my HQL.  It is the same process as it’s always been.  You need to complete 5 pages of yes/no background questions, sign the Health and Mental Hygiene release form, and a page of vital information.  I have spoken to a couple FFL’s in my area and they all say that, with the HQL, your application is “not disapproved” by the State Police by the end of the 7 days and you should be able to pick up your gun on the 8th day.

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IDS focuses on teaching intuitive defensive handgun skills that lend themselves to efficiently handling a firearm in ways that are congruent with the body’s natural reactions under stress. This methodology allows us to better prepare our students for situations where drawing a firearm is a possibility.
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