Open, concealed, or both in MD?

Hi - I recently got my CWP and so completed my 77R with the HQL from my CWP. When I went to my local gun dealer here in MD, I was giving him my shopping list of potential guns I wanted him to try and get for me when the subject of my CWP came up. He was giving me some suggestions about H&K handguns when I made the comment that it was interesting how MD was so strict on magazine capacity but you could open carry in the state. He quickly corrected me, saying that MD is NOT an open carry state. I was pretty sure that’s what my instructor mentioned when I took my course, because he made a point of mentioning that, even though MD allows open carry, he advised against it, for obvious reasons. I wanted to double-check, so confirmed the state laws for MD using my USCCA app. (I know, I should have done it there at the store but I guess I didn’t want to get into a back’n’forth.) So, what am I missing here? Who’s right? Thanks in advance to all who respond.

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The dealer may have thought you meant the more common definition of “open carry” like in other states where with or without a license you can carry openly (meaning, not hidden/concealed).

Maryland only allows carry (open or concealed) WITH a permit. The permit (AFAIK) makes no distinction between carrying openly or concealed.

But without a permit you cannot carry either openly or concealed.


You might also want to review the law on the Maryland government site. This, here, is from the Maryland State Police site, and this is from the Maryland legislative site, the link is to 5-301, but there are 14 sections you should read, just click the Next button to get the next code section.

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I lived in MD for 30 years (just left recently) and I was a property inspector in Oxon Hill. Needless to say (if you know Oxon Hill), it’s not the safest place on earth. That being said, for the purpose of carrying in MD, you MUST have a permit for any type of carry. And, it’s very difficult to get a permit. You have to have “reasons” to carry: 1. That you often carry large amounts of cash. 2. That your life is regularly being threatened. 3. That you have active police endorsements (not a requirement but we had them).
Even with those requirements, the distribution of permits is very low. The year we looked into them before we moved, 5400 people applied and only 200 were granted. The largest percentage of grants were for police, security and banking transport officers. MD also has no reciprocity with any other state (unless it changed recently). Hope that helps.


Hi, @Matt_W - I am in a situation where I am able to get a CWP. In fact, I already have one. And, yes, boy do I know about Oxon Hill! Not one of my favorite restaurant spots :no_mouth: :no_mouth:

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Thanks, @Dave17 - I will most definitely read this. I am 62, haven’t fired a weapon in over 40 years, and hope to never fire one again (at any living thing). But, I train every weekend, have tried several firearms which I like, and am awaiting my first handgun (Glock 43x or 19X). I read as much as I can from this website and the NRA. It is quite an education and I am BY NO means overly knowledgeable but already I can understand what a vast majority don’t understand, including the supposed President-elect - shoot them in the leg, yeah, right.

The whole “shoot them in the leg” concept is wrought with problems. To many times people have gotten sued by the very perp they were trying to get away from and then lost the court battle and ended up paying the very person (through a civil suit) they were trying to defend themselves from!

USCCA! If you dont have them on your side, your chances are much smaller to avoid those ironic (yet moronic) circumstances created by a criminal attacking you.

Thankfully, many of us have them on our side and hope we never have to call them for a tragic self defense situation.

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Well said! My monthly premium is well worth the cost. And, yes, everything I read makes me understand the problems with situations like Jacob Blake, Brianna Taylor, and others. I’m still learning, every day, and already I can see where these people were at fault and the officers were doing the right thing. Just finished reading the Tueller Drill guide from USCCA - more people should read that!

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