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Why it's important to understand Maryland's handgun laws - II

Earlier this week, we discussed how the conditions under which a person can transfer, purchase or rent a handgun in Maryland have undergone considerable changes since October 2013. We then proceeded to discuss some of these changes in order to help people from inadvertently facing the potentially severe consequences of weapons charges.

In today's post, we'll follow a similar track by discussing the conditions in which a person is legally permitted to wear and carry a handgun here in the Old Line State.

Handgun Wear and Carry Permit

Anyone looking to legally carry a handgun is required to secure what is known as the Handgun Wear and Carry Permit from the Maryland State Police. As with the Handgun Qualification License, however, those looking to secure this authorization must satisfy some rather exacting criteria.

First and foremost, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age, and have not been convicted of either a felony or misdemeanor resulting in over a year of imprisonment at any point in time. Furthermore, they cannot have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for which they could have been sentenced to over two years of imprisonment.  

In keeping with this theme of prior criminal history, applicants must also have not been convicted at any point in time for a crime involving use, possession or distribution of controlled substances.

The next set of requirements pertain to personal behavior, as the applicant must not have addiction issues concerning alcohol or controlled substances, and not have showed a tendency toward unstable and/or violent behavior. This latter requirement will be determined by investigation.

Finally, the applicant will have to prove that they have completed an authorized Firearms Training Safety Course within a year of submitting the application, and that they have "good and substantial reason" for wearing and carrying the handgun.

In our next post, we'll examine what exactly constitutes a "good and substantial reason."

Source: Department of Maryland State Police, "Handgun wear and carry permit," Accessed Feb. 13, 2015

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