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What is a HQL?  -- Unless otherwise exempt, as of October 1st 2013, a Maryland resident must possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) issued by the Maryland State Police before he/she may purchase, rent or receive a handgun. You do not need a HQL to own a gun you already have.

***HQL Exemption Details -- You may be exempt from obtaining an HQL or you may be exempt from attending the HQL Class! It is strongly encouraged that you check to see if you qualify for exemption status before beginning the HQL Application Process. CLICK HERE to determine if you qualify for exemption.


HQL Application Process -- 1. HQL Class 2. Electronic (Live-Scan) Fingerprint Based Background Check    
3. Application Submission to MSP

Live-Scan Fingerprinting (Step Two in HQL Application Process) -- Live-Scan Fingerprinting is available at MSAR before and after each HQL Class for $70.00 per person. (NO APPOINTMENTS - WALK IN ONLY!)

All HQL Class students who would like to be fingerprinted at MSAR must print and complete the Secure Fingerprints HQL Form and bring it with them the day of fingerprinting.



Application Submission to MSP (Final Step in HQL Application Process) -- Applicants must create an account on the MSP Online Services Web page, where he/she will then submit their HQL Application. ($51.00 Application Fee) CLICK HERE to create an account on the MSP Online Services Web page.


HQL Class Overview:
The structure and content of this class is established by the State of Maryland and is mandatory for those applying for a Handgun Qualification License (HQL). *UNLESS EXEMPT*

HQL Class Topics:
State Firearm Law, Home Firearm Safety and Handgun Mechanisms & Operation.

HQL Class Length:
4+ Hours - This class is comprised of 4 hours of classroom instruction. One additional hour (may be less or more time) will be spent on the range where each student will demonstrate the operation and handling of a handgun (this demonstration includes a live-fire component).

$20.00 Per Person - The firearm, ammunition, hearing protection, eye protection and target are provided for each student & included in this fee!



PLEASE NOTE: Completed applications take about 3-4 weeks to process and become active after being submitted. Once active, your HQL will be mailed to you within 7-10 business days. A HQL is valid for 10 years once issued.