Maryland Firearm Bill of Sale Form


A Maryland firearm bill of sale form relates to exchanging weapons between two (2) parties. It validates the purchase and implies that both individuals can legally engage in a trade deal. Private sales can only occur once the buyer presents their permit to carry and undergoes a background check through a licensed dealer or law enforcement agency. Transfers without a license and background check subject the buyer and seller to fines and jail time.

  • Statutes: Title 5
  • Background check? Yes.

What is a Maryland Gun Bill of Sale?

A Maryland gun bill of sale covers the buyer and seller when transferring a firearm. In other words, it serves as a reference sheet for the transaction. Third parties should immediately know how to contact each person, the weapon’s condition at the time of the sale, and the purchase price. It should also list the sale date, payment method, and signatures from all parties verifying the transfer. Sellers cannot sign the form unless they know the buyer does not have felony charges or mental health challenges preventing them from owning a gun.

How to Apply for a Handgun Qualification License

Individuals need a handgun qualification license (HQL) to purchase, receive, or rent a firearm. The state no longer issues paper copies, meaning the person must present a printed or electronic copy upon request.

Step 1 – Exemptions

The state does not require certain groups of people to obtain an HQL. This list includes licensed gun manufacturers, active or retired law enforcement (in good standing), active or retired military members, a person possessing an antique firearm, and Maryland licensed gun dealers.

Maryland also lists groups that need an HQL but do not have to go through the otherwise required firearm training. Individuals who took a class approved by the state do not need to take another course. In addition, qualified handgun instructors, honorably discharged military members, employees of companies with handgun permits, and a person who already owns a regulated gun.

Step 2 – Firearms Training Course

Individuals must complete an approved firearms training course within three (3) years of applying for their HQL. The class must include four (4) hours of education on state and home gun laws, operations, and handling. Students must complete “live fire” training where a teacher directs them to use a weapon.

After completing the course, they receive a certification that lasts for three (3) years. They must retake the class regularly to stay current on laws and gun safety.

Step 3 – Fingerprinting

Applicants must have a technician take their fingerprints using the “Electronic Fingerprint Capture Process.” The processing center provides them with an electronic receipt, which they must print, attach, and forward to the MSP Licensing Division. Applicants must send the fingerprints and application within seventy-two (72) hours of having them taken. Otherwise, they must have their prints retaken. Individuals who have a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit do not need to have their fingerprints taken a second time.

Step 4 – Online Application

Maryland uses the MyLicense portal for online application submissions. Applicants must create a user ID and password to begin. Only individuals with a Visa or Mastercard can apply online. Original applications cost $50, whereas replacement permits cost $20.

Submit the Following:

Step 5 – Waiting Period

It takes about two (2) to four (4) weeks to process HQLs. The individual must log onto their account to learn if the state-approved or denied them. As previously mentioned, the MSP no longer sends permits by mail. Therefore, the person must print or electronically store their card to show dealers, private sellers, and/or law enforcement members as needed.

Step 6 – Renew

HQLs last for ten (10) years in Maryland. Residents must renew online by providing their firearms training certification and filling out the application. The state charges $20 for renewals and does not require fingerprints.

How to Apply for a Wear and Carry Permit

Per state law, residents must have a valid wear and carry permit to possess or transfer a handgun. The sale must occur in the presence of a licensed dealer or law enforcement officer. Rifles and shotguns do not qualify under this rule.

The Maryland State Police (MSP) accept applications and issue permits as they see fit. Applying for a license does not guarantee approval. Therefore, the applicant should ensure they meet the listed criteria before sending in the paperwork and fees.

Step 1 – Qualifiers

Maryland only considers the application if the individual passes the following qualifications:

  • Age. The person applying must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older unless they are between eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) and need the gun for their job.
  • Crimes. Applicants cannot have felony convictions or misdemeanors in which they spent more than one (1) year in jail. In addition, they cannot have former criminal offenses that resulted in imprisonment for more than two (2) years.
  • Dangerous Substances. The state automatically rejects applications where the individual has a history of crimes for selling, owning, or handing out harmful controlled substances. The person must also not have an addiction to alcohol or drugs (unless approved by a physician).
  • Character. The resident’s demeanor and overall morality must not bring a concern to law enforcement or the public. Staff reviewing the applicant’s background should not find a reason to think they would use the gun in a harmful or inappropriate manner.
  • Reason. Nobody can obtain a permit unless they have a “good and substantial” reason to have or use a handgun. The individual must prove that a gun will protect them against imminent danger.
  • Firearms Course. Anyone applying for a license must successfully pass a handgun safety class no more than two (2) years from the submission date.

Step 2 – Firearms Training

Like HQL applicants, residents applying for a wear and carry permit must take a firearms safety training course. However, a wear and carry permit class requires more class time. New applicants must have at least sixteen (16) hours of education, whereas renewals mandate at least eight (8) hours. Students must obtain a  certification within two (2) years of applying or renewing their carry permits.

Active or retired law enforcement officers and military members in good standing do not need to take the training course. Exemptions also include qualified instructors and individuals who have already taken a state-approved education class.

Step 3 – Photographs + Fingerprinting

Before applying, the resident must have a colored photograph taken of them. It must have “passport” quality in size and clarity.

Applicants must also have electronic fingerprints taken by an authorized LiveScan technician. Following the fingerprinting, they receive a transmission receipt, which they must report on the online application.

Step 4 – Apply Online

Maryland only accepts permit applications online through the licensing portal. Residents can submit additional forms if they feel it increases their chances of approval. Questions not answered in the user’s guide should go to the MSP who processes wear and carry permit applications.

Online applications require electronic payment, such as a credit or debit card. Individuals who do not have a credit or debit card must pay via mail following the state’s instructions.

Submit the Following:

Step 5 – Wait

It takes about ninety (90) days for the MSP to process the online application and provide users with a response digitally. Approved applicants must refer to their local law to determine where and how to pick up their permit. Denied applications require the person to resubmit the corrected information if allowed.

Step 6 – Renew

Handgun permits expire two (2) years after the issue date on the last day of the resident’s birth month. Applicants can renew in three (3) year periods as long as they can provide the required information and payment of $50. They do not need to give fingerprints, although they must take a refresher firearm training course and present their certification when renewing.