Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Message from the Owner:

One of the main reasons I started this company is to help others figure out how to lawfully enjoy the shooting sports and exercise their second amendment rights in the State of Maryland.  It can be a maze to figure out how to navigate the laws and procedures in this state.  I'm here to help.

If you don't find the answer to your question below, please feel free to email me any questions you might have about firearm ownership and concealed carry in Maryland, or post them on my Facebook page.  Even if you think it may be a silly question, feel free to ask (but please be respectful).  I will try to get back to everyone within 24 hours in most cases.

Disclaimer:  I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this page should be interpreted as legal advice.  I will do the best I can to answer your questions based on knowledge I have obtained from posted official sources and through my correspondence with Police officials.  The laws change all the time, so please double-check with an official source, use good judgment and consult with an attorney before doing something that you think might be outside of the law.

HQL Questions:

How do I schedule a class with KR Defense Firearms Training?

Please check my home page here for my current class schedule.  I am currently offering HQL courses at The Machine Gun Nest indoor range and classroom in Frederick, Maryland.  Other courses are by appointment at this time.  If you don't see a date or time that works for you, please email me directly by clicking here and let me know what would be convenient for you.

I will schedule more classes as current ones fill up or if I have enough interest, and I may be able to offer a private class depending on how close you live to Frederick.  As always, there is a 10% discount to you and each participant for both the MD HQL and NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting courses if you can get your friends and family to register for the same course.

Who is required to have a HQL before purchasing a handgun in MD?

Since October 1, 2013, most residents of the State of Maryland are required to possess a Handgun Qualification License (HQL) before being able to purchase a handgun in Maryland.  You do not need to have a HQL if you meet the following criteria:

  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 (Federal Law Enforcement), 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. (Sole Proprietors)

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Who is required to have a HQL, but is exempt from the training requirement of the HQL application?

  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.
  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, you do not have to complete the training to apply for the Handgun Qualification License.

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How old must you be to take the HQL Course with KR Defense?

I encourage involving children in firearms training, once the parent decides the time is right.  Children between the ages of 10 and 18 may attend this course with at least one parent present.  If the parent already has their HQL, their attendance is free of charge.

If you are over 18 but under 21, you would be able to use this training to apply for the HQL when you turn 21.  The HQL training is good for 3 years.

Should I get fingerprinted before the HQL course?

You may decide to get fingerprinted before the course if you wish.  The fingerprints must be completed within 12 months of applying for the HQL permit online.

Once I complete my MD HQL Course, how do I apply to get my HQL?

To apply for an HQL, the law requires a fingerprint based background check. More information about the fingerprinting process is available here.  You cannot submit your application until fingerprinting is completed, unless you already possess as Maryland Wear and Carry Permit.

*Note from the owner* - KR Defense recommends the Frederick County Sheriff's office for fingerprinting services.  They are available without an appointment Tuesdays through Thursdays each week from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM.  Find more info and their address here.

The Handgun Qualification License is accessible online through MyLicense.  For access, click here.

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Do I need an HQL to fire at a gun range?

No, but each gun range may have other requirements or restrictions before you can shoot there, including age, ID requirements, and may ask you to fill out some information or take a range rules test, etc.  An HQL is only required to purchase, rent or transfer a firearm in the State of Maryland.​

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MD Wear and Carry Permit Questions:

What are the criteria to qualify for the MD Wear and Carry Permit?

There are many criteria in MD that one has to meet to obtain a carry permit if you are not a law enforcement officer, chief among which is demonstrating a "good and substantial reason" why you need to carry a gun, which may include things like owning a business, documented assaults or threats by another person, and it requires 16 hours of firearms training by a MD certified instructor such as myself.

Each application is reviewed on a case by case basis and may depend on your circumstances, records, etc.  Since the MD State Police does not list all of their criteria explicitly,  I cannot tell you with 100% certainty if you will be approved.

Please check the MD State Police website here for more details.  If you believe you meet the criteria, I am happy to provide you with the required training.

Does Maryland have reciprocity with other states for concealed carry?

Maryland does not currently recognize carry permits from other states, however many other states recognize the MD Wear and Carry permit. Click here for Maryland's reciprocity map at, a great resource for concealed carry.

Other Questions:

What handguns are approved for sale in Maryland?

Please click here for a com​ple​te list of approved handguns​​ for sale ​in Maryland.

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Do I need to be a member of the NRA to take the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course?

The NRA Membership is not required to take any of my courses, but I highly recommend becoming a member and supporting the NRA.  Please click here to get my special pricing on a new or renewal membership if you are interested in supporting the NRA.

 How can I legally transport firearms within / through Maryland?

They must be unloaded, in a carrying case, holster with a flap and the ammunition should be separate. It would be best to keep the unloaded weapon in the trunk where you do not have access to it. There are further regulations but essentially you can only transport a handgun between residence, to and from a repair shop, a shooting sporting event, between a residence and place of business if substantially owned and operated by the person. For more information please email the Maryland State Police Licensing Division by clicking here.

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