Maryland HQL

4 hrs. / $125

Course Overview: (Classroom & Live Fire)

It all begins here. As of October 1, 2013, Maryland residents must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) before they can purchase, rent, or receive a handgun. Approved HQL training courses are only offered by Maryland State Police-approved Qualified Handgun Instructors who have established an account through the Maryland State Police "MyLicense/e-gov” site. Training is valid for 3 years and must be completed prior to submitting an application for a Handgun Qualification License.

This four-hour block of instruction will ensure each student receives the most current information related to state firearm law, home firearm safety, handgun mechanisms and operation, handling, and maintaining a firearm. Additionally, a practical live-fire exercise is required to meet the training requirements set forth by the state, and that will be accomplished in a unique indoor range environment. My goal is to ensure you leave with an understanding of what firearms are capable of and why you need to further your training as a potential gun owner. A certificate of completion will also be given to each student. I keep classes small to allow for personal attention since we all learn differently and this training is too important to rush through.


An applicant is not required to possess a Handgun Qualification License if they are:

  1. A Licensed Firearms Manufacturer.
  2. 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.
  3. A member or retired member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.
  4. 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.

Persons required to have a Handgun Qualification License, but exempt from the training component:

  1. Have completed a Maryland State Police (MSP) approved certified firearms safety course.
  2. 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.
  3. Is currently a qualified handgun instructor.
  4. Is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.
  5. Is an employee of an armored car company who has a valid Wear and Carry Permit issued by MD State Police.
  6. 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.

How to Apply

The Handgun Qualification License is accessible online through MyLicense. For access, please click HERE.

To apply for an HQL, the law requires a fingerprint-based background check. More information about the fingerprinting process is available HERE. You cannot submit your application until fingerprinting is completed unless you already possess a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit.

Within 3 years prior to the submission of an HQL application, an applicant must demonstrate satisfactory completion of a Firearms Safety Training Course. The Firearms Safety Training Course must be instructed by a Qualified Handgun Instructor, and shall consist of a minimum of 4 hours of instruction and include the following minimum curricula:

  1. State Firearm Law. Overview of the State firearm laws, including discussion of what constitutes a regulated firearm, how to properly purchase or transfer a firearm, where allowed to carry or transport a firearm, when necessary to possess a carry permit, who is prohibited from possessing firearms, and state law relating to minors, permissible levels of force, and use of deadly force.
  2. Home Firearm Safety. Overview of handgun and firearm safety in the home, including discussion of access to minors, locking and storing of firearms, and use of safety devices, such as secure lock boxes.
  3. Handgun Mechanisms and Operation. Overview of the proper operation and safe handling of a handgun, including cleaning and maintenance, the loading and unloading of ammunition, and the differences between revolvers and semi-automatic handguns.
  4. Operation and Handling Demonstration. Orientation component that demonstrates the person’s safe operation and handling of a firearm, including a “live fire” component in which the applicant safely shoots the weapon. An applicant may not be required to fire in excess of 15 yards during qualifications.

How Much Does It Cost?

Acceptable methods of payment include Visa or MasterCard

Original/Initial – $50.00 - Fingerprint Fees not included
Renewal – $20.00 - Fingerprint not required

Replacement/Duplicate - $20.00

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