The state of Maryland requires that all residents who want to purchase, rent or receive a handgun legally, must acquire a Maryland Handgun Qualification License, or HQL. An HQL ensures that the person acquiring the firearm has passed a criminal background check and completed a state-mandated safety training course. There are several steps needed to obtain an HQL, here’s an overview so that you know what to expect.
Understanding the HQL Law
The law requiring an HQL took effect in 2013. As a result, handgun owners that acquired their firearm before October 1, 2013, do not need an HQL. An HQL is only for new acquisitions. Several groups do not need an HQL, including licensed firearms manufacturers or dealers, active law enforcement, or active members of the military or national guard with a valid military identification card. For any questions, it is best to consult the Maryland Department of State Police website.
How to Obtain a Maryland HQL
There are several steps needed to apply for an HQL. First, you must complete a fingerprint-based background check. The fingerprints are valid for 12 months before submission of the application. Those getting fingerprints should go to the following website to have the correct authorization codes to provide the LiveScan technician. There are several locations around the state, including here at Security Training Academy, to work you through this process.
Maryland also requires everyone who acquires an HQL must pass a Firearms Safety Training Course through a state-qualified handgun instructor. The course must include a minimum of four hours of instruction and have an overview of state firearm laws, home firearm safety, handgun mechanisms and operation, and a handling demonstration. These classes can typically be done in one session, with thousands of people being certified each year. Often, the location where you take your class can get take care of your fingerprinting as well.
Completing Your Application
Once these steps are complete, you can submit your application to the Maryland Department of State Police website. If approved, the state police will mail you your printed license. In some cases, they may also provide you a downloaded version that you can print yourself.
Let Security Training Academy Help You Get Your Maryland HQL
At Security Training Academy, we help dozens of people get their Maryland HQL each month. We offer training classes as part of our catalog. We also offer dozens of different training sessions for corporate security, security guards, and citizens that want to learn. For more information call us at (443) 702-7891.