Handgun Qualification License

HQL Requirements:

 A person may not purchase, rent, or receive a handgun after October 1, 2013 unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) issued by the Maryland State Police or qualify for exemption status.
Exceptions to possession of the HQL License

  1. A Licensed Firearms Manufacturer.
  2. Active law enforcement officer or a person retired in good standing from a law enforcement agency of the United States, the State, or a local law enforcement agency of the State.
  3. Active or retired member of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and possesses a valid military identification card.
  4. A person purchasing, renting or receiving an antique, curio or relic as defined in federal law.
  5. Maryland licensed firearms dealers.

Required to have the HQL, but exempt from the training component

  1. Someone who completed a firearms safety training course approved by the Secretary of the Department of Maryland State Police.
  2. Has completed a course of instruction in the competency and safety of firearms as prescribed under Natural Resources Article, §10-301.1, Annotated Code of Maryland. Application for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety Course Certificate can be obtained from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) www.hunter-ed.com/maryland/ may be used in lieu of Qualified Handgun Instruction.
  3. Is currently a qualified handgun instructor.
  4. Is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.
  5. Is an employee of an armored car company who has a handgun permit issued by MSP. 6. Lawfully owns a regulated firearm.

Training Exemptions

If you already own a handgun or assault weapon prior to October 1, 2013, you do not have to complete the training to apply for the Handgun Qualification License.

How to Apply

Once you have completed your training requirements, the Handgun Qualification License is accessible online through the MDSP MyLicense web page.

You cannot submit your application until this is completed, unless you already possess as Maryland Wear and Carry Permit. There are several places to obtain fingerprints.

Who May Be Denied A License, Permit or Possession

By law, in Maryland, the Secretary of the Maryland State Police must deny a transfer of a regulated firearm (generally meaning a handgun or an assault weapon) if the prospective buyer, lessee, or transferee:

  • Has been convicted of a crime of violence;
  • Has been convicted of any Maryland-classified felony;
  • Has been convicted of conspiracy to commit a felony;
  • Has been convicted of a common law crime for which the person received a term of imprisonment for more than two years;
  • Has been convicted of any Maryland-classified misdemeanor that carries a statutory penalty of more than two years;
  • Is a fugitive from justice;
  • Is a habitual drunkard;
  • Is an addict or habitual user of any controlled dangerous substance;
  • Is suffering from a mental disorder and has a history of violent behavior, unless the purchaser, lessee, or transferee possesses a physician’s certificate stating that he or she is capable of possessing a regulated firearm without undue danger to himself, herself or others;
  • Has been confined for more than 30 consecutive days to a facility unless the purchaser, lessee, or transferee possesses a physician’s certificate stating that he or she is capable of possessing a regulated firearm without undue danger to himself, herself or others;
  • Is visibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Is under 21 years of age;
  • Is a participant in a “straw purchase”, meaning that the intended recipient of the firearm is not the apparent buyer and the apparent buyer is not the intended recipient. In other words, a buyer who purchases a firearm for someone else, or someone who enlists another person to purchase a firearm for them;
  • Is subject to a “non ex parte civil protective order;”
  • If under the age of 30 years at the time of the transaction, has been adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court for an act that would be a disqualifying crime if committed by an adult; or
  • Has not completed a certified firearms safety training course, required to obtain a regulated firearm.

Handgun Permit (Wear and Carry)

Who Can Apply

Wear and Carry Permits may be issued to any adult (18 years of age or over) who meets the following criteria:

  1. An applicant between 18 and 21 years of age may only be issued a wear and carry permit to possess a regulated firearm required for employment. – P.S. 5-133 (d)(2)(v)
  2. Has not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year has been imposed; or convicted of a criminal offense for which you could have been sentenced to more than 2 years incarceration.
  3. Has not been convicted of a 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 under legitimate medical direction;
  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 others;
  6. As of October 1, 2013, has successfully completed the Maryland State Police approved firearms training course within 2 years prior to submitting the original or renewal application.

How To Apply

As of October 1, 2013, all new, renewal, and subsequent applicants must successfully complete required firearms training, within 2 years, prior to submitting the application.
As of October 1, 2019, all Wear and Carry permit applications (original, renewal and subsequent) and requests (modification and replacement) must be submitted online in the Licensing Portal. All documentation requirements and any clarifications you feel may assist investigators in processing your applications must be uploaded and electronically attached to the application in the Licensing Portal.  

Required Documentation

  • The minimum documentation required for the acceptance of the Wear and Carry permit application are:
  • Color passport-size photograph 
  • Electronic fingerprint transmission receipt
  • Certificate of Handgun Training or documentation of exemption 

Renewal Requirements

As of October 1, 2016 Fingerprints will no longer be required for renewal application submissions.  Fingerprints are still required for all initial/origin​al Handgun Permit applications. (MD SB208 2016)
The 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 Portal will only send out renewal reminders for Wear and Carry permit applications that have been submitted through the online portal.
It is the permit holder’s responsibility to notify the Licensing Division of address changes, in writing, within 30 days of any change. You must mail this change to the same address as you would mail an application.

Payment and Refunds


Credit cards, as listed on our checkout page, and PayPal are the standard forms of payment accepted.
Payment in advance is required to reserve a seat in any class.


No refunds will be remitted once payment is received.  No exceptions. 
However you may reschedule for another class.

Terms and Conditions

Our terms and conditions policy is available here: MFATT Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

Our privacy policy is available here: MFATT Privacy Policy