Del. Szeliga: “What ARE Maryland Gun Laws Anyway?”

From Del. Kathy Szeliga:

Welcome to another edition of the Delegate Szeliga Weekly Update! This week, the update will be covering firearm issues, specifically mental health and school safety legislative initiatives that I support. I also wanted to provide you with current firearm laws in Maryland, as I have found that most people do not know details on Maryland’s current firearm laws.

Please view my latest YouTube: Szeliga and Aumann Mental Health, School Safety, and Current Gun Law

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Maryland is already a strict gun law state, ranked as the 7th strictest in the nation.


Fully automatic firearms (machine guns – trigger held down it continues to fire):
A licensed dealer gives federal forms to purchaser, State Police processes and signs off on it; ATF runs a thorough background check with the FBI, photographs & fingerprints submitted – takes at least six months. Exceedingly expensive – firearm alone is $5,000 to over $50,000.

Semi-automatic firearms: (trigger must be pulled and released for each action) – semi-automatic firearms have been around since the late 1890s.

Semi-Auto Rifles & Shotguns:
Non-Regulated rifles and shotguns: Maryland residents can purchase a rifle or shotgun from a licensed firearms dealer if they have identification and are 18 years or older. An instant background check is performed in the store and purchasers can take the purchased rifle or shotgun home with them that day.

Regulated rifles and shotguns: (regulated rifles and shotguns are basically “scary” looking semi-auto firearms that the state calls “assault weapons”)
Maryland residents can purchase a regulated rifle or shotgun from a licensed firearms dealer if they have identification and are 21 years or older. There is a “7 Day Waiting Period,” where applicants must submit a form to the State Police (77R) wherein the State Police do a background check using multiple databases. A form is returned to the dealer and if approved, the dealer can release the firearm to the purchaser. There is a cursory mental health check component in this process.

On-line Firearm Safety class required (click to take)

Handguns: (ALL handguns):
Treated the same as regulated rifles and shotguns above.

Registration – YES for regulated rifles, shotguns and all handguns.
Licensing of owners – No
Permit to carry a firearm – VERY hard to get – VERY limited in Maryland

Purchasing firearms from a gun show or private sale: Same laws apply as above. Forms must be processed through a licensed firearm dealer or directly with the State Police.
There is no “gun show loophole” in Maryland.

Out of State purchases – If it’s a non-regulated rifle or shotgun, you can purchase it in a contiguous state and all state and federal laws still apply. If it’s a regulated firearm in Maryland, you can still make the purchase, but the dealer must ship it to a Maryland licensed dealer who will follow all Maryland laws. Private out-of-state purchases – you cannot purchase a regulated firearm outside of your state without going through a licensed Maryland dealer and following all Maryland laws.

Transporting firearms – In Maryland, the firearm must be unloaded, not accessible (in the trunk) and ammo stored in a separate location. Transport is only to and from the range and other lawful firearm related events.

Trigger Locks – In Maryland, all handguns must have an integrated locking device.


What I support:

House Bill 424 – Criminal Procedure – Crimes of Violence Involving Firearms – Diminution Credits, Parole, and Plea Agreements. Those convicted of drug and gun related crimes should serve the maximum sentence and not be eligible for time off for good behavior or any form for a reduced sentence.

House Bill 165 – Elementary and Secondary Education – Security – School. Providing that each school in Maryland would have a Security Resource Officer to assist security in each of our schools.

House Bill 1258 – Mental Hygiene – Reform of Laws and Delivery of Services. Forms a task force to study improving hospital admission for mental health services.

House Bill 969 – Commission to consider mental health related ways to limit mass violence by individuals with antisocial personality disorders, depressive disorders, or other mental illness. The title is self explanatory.
You can always listen and watch House of Delegates committee hearings at:

For more information on Maryland’s current gun laws, please follow this link:

Thanks and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any questions or if I can be of assistance to you and your family.

Click here: Delegate Kathy Szeliga
303 House Office Building
6 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Toll Free in MD – 1-800-492-7122 x3698

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming my way.

Delegate Kathy Szeliga


  1. Kharn says

    You forgot to mention the $10 registration fee and serial number inventory that must be paid to the MSP annually by owners of machine guns, and within 24 hours of acquisition. Failure to register is a felony.

    More information:

    I always laugh that the MSP wants to know if the previous owner of each machine gun was Hispanic/Latino and it must be included with every annual report, not just the initial one. Like the seller could suddenly change from being of Norwegian descent to Guatemalan four years after the purchase…

  2. Tom Myers says

    When mentioning her support of HB 165, Delegate Szeliga does not take into consideration that on the day of the shooting at Columbine, there was an armed police officer. The state would be better off toughening their gun laws and making sure the laws are enforced, just like they did in New York State.

    Tom Myers
    President, Young Democrats of Harford County

    • Kharn says

      There was an armed police officer present, but he was not effective for several reasons:
      1) He was eating lunch in his car outside the building, and responded to the first wounded student in the parking lot thinking it was a car vs pedestrian accident, while the shooters were already inside.
      2) He wasn’t wearing his prescription glasses when the gunfight started.
      3) He was shooting a pistol against an opponent armed with a carbine, 60 yards away, a distance which gives a huge advantage to a long gun.

    • B says

      While posting, you did not take into consideration that Connecticut already has some of the most strict gun laws in the country and Adam Lanza broke several during his rampage.

  3. RW Willy says

    Thank you Delegate. Nice clear explanation of laws. Now if you can plow thru the stupidity we may have a chance.

  4. BrianC says

    Law-abiding citizens please contact this list below and show them we are tired of their feel-good, non-crime stopping legislation. Feel free to just cutnpaste my letter below or your version of it. We really need to stop being the “sheeple of Maryland” and get these politicians to work for us and not themselves.

    It is EXTREMELY urgent that Marylanders express their opposition to Senate Bill 281 as well as contact Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee members and their own Senators. Strongly urge them to oppose Governor Martin O’Malley’s extremist gun control package in any form. Do NOT let them take away your voice and your rights like Governor Cuomo did in New York. You have a chance to stop this dangerous legislation, and the time is NOW.

    Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee evaluating the anti-2nd amendment bill. EMAIL THEM ALL!!!!

    Senator Brian E. Frosh (Chairman) (D-16)


    Senator Lisa A. Gladden (Vice Chairman) (D-41)


    Senator James Brochin (D-42)


    Senator Joseph M. Getty (R-5)


    Senator Jennie M. Forehand (D-17)


    Senator Nancy Jacobs (R-34)


    Senator C. Anthony Muse (D-26)


    Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20)


    Senator Christopher B. Shank (R-2)


    Senator Norman R. Stone Jr. (D-6)


    Senator Bobby A. Zirkin (D-11)


    A Citizens Stance Against SB 281 2/6/2013

    Dear Senator and Delegates,

    Should you be counting; I am against any changes to current laws concerning guns and magazines. In the end, “it’s criminal control, not gun control that will save this country and state”. Any measures that change the current gun laws will only make law-abiding citizens–criminals; as I will not turn in any over-capacity magazines. Moreover, I will not subject myself to additional registration or qualifications concerning firearms that I may or may not own.
    I find it interesting that MD legislature will not consider a “Voter Registration” system due to “undue hardship” principles; but yet Governor O’Malley is pressing you to add prohibitive costs in time and money to current and potential legal gun-owners.

    I do support “The Criminal Gun Control Act,” which would prohibit any offender convicted of a criminal act involving any gun from receiving any form of early release. This proposal would include parole, probation, or good-time early release credits. The bill would also disallow a plea bargain.

    Lastly, I have read SB 281 and not one clause would help the inner city youth that just got shot by a rival drug dealer. That, dear Senators, is where the peoples time and money should be spent.

    Thank You.
    Brian Czawlytko

  5. Fed up says

    @BrianC – it is a list of the brain dead. I wrote to them all weeks ago. I had a personal response from one – she is the only one who is willing to stand up for the real issues we face. This power grabbing legislation is dangerous for all Marylanders and, it does absolutely nothing to address violence in our cities. Revolving door courts, lack of law enforcement and a societal view that we can all do whatever we feel like doing (except when it comes to law-abiding citizens exercising their 2nd Amendment right). Read the news – read about the killers in Baltimore (or Edgewood). These are not first time offenders, otherwise choirboys. Yet Owemalley and his cronies will do absolutely nothing about this, the real issue in our society….pathetic.

  6. Yup says

    Weren’t the already 20,000 gun laws that are already on the books considered common sense? Why are these new proposed laws also considered common sense? Did the previous common sense not work? Why would this new common sense work? THAT, my friends, is the folly of gun control.

    Here is some common sense:

    Laws only effect those with the moral compass to follow them. Criminals, by definition, do not follow laws. Criminals will continue to acquire guns illegally. They will continue to wreak havoc on the law abiding. The police will continue to lock them up. The judges/juries may or may not send them to jail, though, once in jail, they will usually not serve their entire sentence. They will be released, and the cycle will start again. Why is further restricting the law abiding citizen’s right to defend themselves as they see fit the answer to firearms violence? Who is going to protect the law abiding citizen? The police? They’re minutes away when seconds count. In fact, they don’t HAVE to protect us, individually; only society in general.

    They don’t have to protect you if you’ve called 911 repeatedly to report a threat. (Hartzler v. San Jose, Riss v. New York)

    They don’t have to protect you when you call 911 to report a break-in/rape IN PROGRESS. (Warren v. DC)

    They don’t have to protect you from the person you have a restraining order against. (Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept, Castle Rock v. Gonzales)

    They don’t have to protect you from a person they have under active surveillance. (Davidson v. Westminster)

    They don’t have to protect you from a person IN POLICE CUSTODY. (Ne Casek v. Los Angeles)

    • ALEX R says

      Anyone who expects the police to protect them is sadly mis-informed. The police solve crimes after they have been committed. I am certainly not anti-police but I am realistic enough to know that they can’t be protecting everyone, everywhere all of the time from what might happen. They concentrate on what has already happened. If you want protection from what might happen then that is up to you. Unless you are an elected official with a security team. Most of us play the odds that it won’t happen to us. A few of us prepare ourselves in the event that it does happen to us. Some states make it easy and some states don’t. Maryland doesn’t.

      The people in the State of Connecticut should be asking their government why, in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation the State, a State who promised that ever more restrictive gun laws would protect innocent people, didn’t deliver on their promise.

      Every citizen should be saying “State of Connecticut, you promised us that if we would allow some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation it would prevent the mass killing we just witnessed. Please now explain to us and to the parents of our dead children and to the spouses of our dead teachers why you didn’t keep your promise.”

  7. Duganz says

    But guys, your rights end where my feelings begin! I don’t want you owning high capacity 30 round assault clips because you can kill my babies! Our current legislation doesn’t work, so lets add more!
    While we’re at it lets just ban criminal behavior altogether! What do you mean that’s not enforceable? What is this constitution you keep prattling on about? BUT MY FEELINGS!