Posted on January 2, 2012
Last updated August 8, 2013.
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearm-related policy areas. Maryland ranked 7th out of 50 – having enacted some of the toughest gun violence prevention laws in the country. Since that ranking, Maryland has improved its public safety laws involving firearms. Among other things, Maryland:
- Requires that all private transfers of handguns and assault weapons be processed through a licensed dealer or designated law enforcement agency, who must conduct a background check on the purchaser through the State Police;
- Demands licensure of all dealers in handguns or assault weapons;
- Requires purchasers of handguns and assault weapons to complete a certified firearms safety training course;
- Prohibits any person from purchasing more than one handgun or assault weapon within a 30-day period;
- Imposes a seven-day waiting period prior to the physical transfer of a handgun or assault weapon;
- Provides law enforcement with discretion to deny a permit to wear or carry a handgun;
- Imposes design safety standards for handguns;
- Prohibits the transfer of certain assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines; and
- Requires firearm owners to report the loss or theft of their firearms.
Maryland does not, however:
- Impose significant requirements on most long gun transfers; or
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms.
Maryland had the 17th lowest rate of gun deaths per capita among the states in 2010. In that year, 538 people died from firearm-related injuries in Maryland. In 2009, Maryland supplied the 33rd highest number of crime guns to other states, and imports many more crime guns than it exports.
Maryland Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Maryland, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.