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Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL) Information


We have been digesting the requirements for the new Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL).

As it is right now, here are the requirements:

A person may not purchase, rent (take off premises) , or receive (transfer) 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:

- A Licensed Firearms Manufacturer.

- 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.

- Active or retired member of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and possesses a valid military identification card.

- A person that has a Maryland Hunter Safety Course.

- A person purchasing, renting or receiving an antique, curio or relic as defined in federal law.

- Maryland licensed firearms dealers.

Required to have the HQL, but EXEMPT from the training component:

- Have completed a Maryland State Police (MSP) approved certified firearms safety course.

- Have completed a course of instruction and been issued a certificate of competency in firearms and hunter safety from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

- Is currently a qualified handgun instructor.

- Is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.

- Is an employee of an armored car company who has a valid Wear and Carry Permit issued by MSP.

- Lawfully owns a regulated firearm. If you own a regulated firearm prior to October 1, 2013, you are not required to complete the training and may apply for the Handgun Qualification License.

So, if you already OWN a regulated firearm (handgun, "assault" style rifle) AND it is registered in Maryland, you only need to apply for the HQL, you ARE exempt from the training requirement.

Anyone that is not currently or has never been in the military, or served as law enforcement, or a licensed firearms instructor, or does NOT currently own any regulated firearm, IS required to take the HQL training before acquiring a handgun after Oct 1, 2013.

Any student that has taken the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course with us will be offered a one hour "compliance" course that will satisfy the training requirement.  Again, this is only needed if you do NOT currently own a regulated firearm and do not meet the other exemptions listed above.

NOTE:  If you currently possess a Maryland Wear and Carry permit (Maryland Handgun Permit) then you are EXEMPT from the training, fingerprints, and application fee, HOWEVER, you still need to APPLY for the HQL (EXEMPT) on the MSP web site.
If you have any questions concerning this please give us a call.