Thursday, October 10, 2013

Maryland HQL license requirements (and other stuff).

I took a Utah CCW class through Mid Atlantic Firearms Training, and they added me to their mailing list.  Fortunately they're not spammy so I tend to pay attention when I get something from them.

Earlier in the week, they sent this out to customers.  I've asked permission to reprint it in its entirety here:

Mid-Atlantic Firearms Training
 October 6, 2012

We are sending out this email as a courtesy to those of you who may have some questions regarding the new firearms laws that have gone into effect in Maryland on October 1, 2013.  This is known as the Firearm Safety Act 2013 aka SB281.

Like many of you, I did everything I could to protest, discourage and stop this bill from being signed into law.  However, that did eventually happen and here we are 1 week later.  At this point, it is no longer theory or "what if", rather it is a reality and now we deal with it's implementation.

We have been quite silent in sending out too many announcements as it became clear the law would go through as it seemed everything was in a state of flux and in reality, things are still in a state of flux.  However, we do now have some more concrete info we can share that will hopefully help you understand how this law may/may not affect you and if you will need to acquire further training under it's provisions.
Handgun Qualification License and Training Requirements

I am going to outline the requirements for the Handgun Qualification License hereby referred to as HQL and the training requirements.

Under the Firearms Safety Act 2013 also known as SB281, all new handgun purchasers must apply for and receive a Handgun Qualification License (HQL) before purchase.  This HQL must be presented to the FFL or gun shop.  

There are certain individuals who exempt from the handgun qualification 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.
  • A member or retired member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.  (This may apply to quite a few of you.)
  • A person purchasing, renting or receiving an antique, curio or relic as defined in federal law or in determinations published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  (For those of you who deal with C&R firearms)
The above listed individuals or entities must provide acceptable documentation to the dealer or FFL prior to purchasing a regulated firearm.  Do your self a favor, save a trip and bring it with you.

There are certain individuals who will need an HQL but are exempt from a further training requirement:
  • 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.
Pay particular attention to the last bullet point as that will affect many of you.  In other words, if you already own a handgun you will NOT be required to take the HQL training course, BUT you will need to apply for the HQL if you want to purchase any future handguns.
Soooo, the question is:  What if I need HQL Training??
If you are in the category of individuals who will need to take the HQL training course, we certainly have you covered as well as your other firearms training needs.  The course will be a 4 hour course mandated by law that includes the following main topics:

  • State Firearms Laws
  • Home Firearms Safety
  • Handgun Operation and Mechanisms
  • Live Fire Component (obviously we provide the gun and ammunition)
For a more detailed course description please visit the HQL page on our site at:

As usual, we will provide a COMPLETE course including help with the application if needed and discounts on LiveScan Fingerprinting services(required by MSP).

I hope you have found this information helpful and if you need our assistance please know we are there to help you through this confusing maze of new laws as well as provide the quality training you expect and we demand of ourselves.  We ask that you share this email with family and friends who may be thinking of purchasing a handgun for the first time.  I can tell you there are "Instructors" coming out of the woodwork looking to capitalize on this "opportunity".  Please let your family and friends know of your positive experience with us and send them our way.

Bryan Fletcher
Mid-Atlantic Firearms Training


Evyl Robot Michael said...

I loath 'it's for your own good' legislation.

Laura said...

Agreed, sir.

Bubblehead Les. said...

So if one already owns a Handgun in Maryland, you don't need a HQL to KEEP what you have, right? It's just for New Purchases, correct?

FWIW, these "Standards" to obtain a HQL just to buy a Handgun are actually STRICTER than the requirements to get a CHP here in Ohio.

Sounds like a Good Argument for some Smart Lawyer to use for the next Court Case.

Laura said...

correct, this is just to purchase. we are not required to have a permit to own what we already have.

i understand there's a lawsuit in the works, and this is one of the points being discussed.

Old NFO said...

That just sucks... Plain and simple...