Why it’s important to understand Maryland’s handgun laws – III

Several weeks back, our blog began a discussion of the handgun laws here in Maryland as a means of providing people with answers and, more importantly, helping them avoid a trip to the local police precinct due to a simple misunderstanding of the applicable rules and regulations.

As part of this discussion, we started exploring the conditions under which a Maryland resident can legally wear and carry a handgun.

Securing A Handgun Wear and Carry Permit: Good and Substantial Reason

To recap, those seeking a Handgun Wear and Carry Permit from the Maryland State Police must be at least 18 years of age, and meet the following conditions:

  • Have no felony or misdemeanor convictions on their record that resulted in over 12 months in prison.
  • Have no felony or misdemeanor convictions on their record for which they could have been sentenced to over 24 months in prison.
  • Have no convictions for a crime involving use, distribution or possession of controlled substances on their record.
  • Have no record of substance abuse issues, and no tendencies toward unstable and/or violent behavior.
  • Completed an authorized Firearms Training Safety Course within a year of submitting the application.

The final requirement is that the applicant must have “good and substantial reason” for wearing and carrying the handgun, something that can be satisfied under the following circumstances:

  • Personal protection: The applicant must submit evidence of assaults, threats or robberies that are corroborated by notarized witness statements or police reports.
  • Business owners/employees: The applicant must submit documents verifying business ownership or employment (articles of incorporation, business licenses, etc.), and copies of six random business-related deposit slips or a letter from the bank verifying the existence of a business account. Furthermore, employees must submit a letter from the employer bearing the official business letterhead that 1) verifies their employment and 2) outlines why they a firearm is needed.
  • Security guards/private detectives: The applicant must submit a letter from their employer verifying the following: their position/employment, firearm ownership and the location at which the firearm will be stored while the employee is off-duty. A score sheet from an approved firearms training course must also be submitted.

Always remember to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible in the event you are charged with any sort of weapons-related offense as the stakes — your freedom, your record, your reputation — are simply too high.

Source: Department of Maryland State Police, “Handgun wear and carry permit,” Accessed April 6, 2015

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