How to Sell a Gun in Maryland

In Maryland, the state has strict regulations regarding private sales of firearms. These regulations help to prevent illegal sales and keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited individuals. Our aim in this blog post is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the Maryland state laws and regulations that govern the private sales of firearms in this state.

Written by:
Manny Perovic
June 13, 2023
minutes read
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State Laws for Private Sales in Maryland

If you are planning to sell or purchase a firearm privately in Maryland, it is crucial to be aware of the laws and regulations that govern such transactions. These laws are in place to ensure that firearms are sold only to eligible individuals and that all sales are conducted in a safe and responsible manner.

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Throughout this blog post, we will cover a range of topics related to private sales of firearms in Maryland. This will include discussions on who is eligible to purchase and possess firearms, the types of firearms that can be legally sold privately (handguns, rifles, shotguns, gun collections, NFA class III guns and items, etc.), and the requirements for conducting a private sale in the state. 

Regulations for Buying a Firearm in Maryland

If you plan to purchase a firearm in Maryland, there are specific regulations you must follow. These include:

Minimum age requirements for purchasing firearms:

  • Rifles, shotguns, and ammunition: 18 years old
  • Handguns: 21 years old

Appeal process for denied background checks

  • A qualification license is required for purchasing of handguns


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Regulations for Selling a Firearm in Maryland

When selling a firearm in Maryland, specific regulations apply to ensure the safety and legality of the transaction. These include:

  • Private sales of firearms require completion through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer. This requirement applies to all firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns.
  • Private sellers must go through an FFL dealer to complete the transaction.
  • The FFL Dealer will conduct a background check on the buyer to ensure they meet the minimum age requirements and other eligibility criteria for purchasing a firearm in Maryland.
  • State requirement for background checks on private gun sales is enforced through the use of an FFL dealer.
  • Private sellers who violate this requirement can face legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.

By following these regulations, you can ensure that your firearm sale adheres to Maryland state law and keeps both parties legally protected.

State Restrictions on Gun Sales in Maryland

There are specific restrictions on gun sales in Maryland that both buyers and sellers should be aware of. Under Maryland state law, certain disqualifying factors can prevent an individual from possessing a regulated firearm. Examples of these factors include:

  • Conviction of a disqualifying crime
  • Being a fugitive from justice
  • Involuntary commitment to a mental health facility

Knowing these restrictions is essential for ensuring a legal transaction and avoiding potential penalties.

Federal Laws and Restrictions for Gun Sales

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In addition to Maryland state laws, federal laws also govern the sale and purchase of firearms. It's crucial for both buyers and sellers to familiarize themselves with these regulations to avoid legal complications.

A. Federal Disqualification Categories

Federal law outlines additional disqualifying factors for purchasing firearms. These include:

  • Felony convictions
  • Unlawful use of controlled substances

Moreover, federal law prohibits certain individuals from owning or possessing firearms, such as:

  • Convicted felons
  • Individuals convicted of domestic violence
  • Those with specific mental health conditions

Being aware of these disqualifying factors can help ensure a legal and responsible gun sale.


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Federal Background Check Requirements

Federal law mandates background checks for gun sales made by licensed firearms dealers, regardless of whether the sale occurs in a store or at a gun show. However, there is no federal background check requirement for private gun sales, including those between individuals at gun shows or online. Some states, including Maryland, have enacted their own laws requiring background checks for private gun sales. It is essential to comply with these state-specific requirements to ensure the legality of the transaction.

Minimum Age Requirements and Violations

Federal law sets minimum age requirements for purchasing firearms. Buyers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • At least 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns, and ammunition
  • At least 21 years old to purchase handguns

Violating federal gun laws and restrictions can result in serious legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. Both buyers and sellers must be aware of these minimum age requirements to ensure compliance with federal law.

Essential Tips for a Secure and Profitable Firearm Sale

To achieve a successful and secure firearm transaction, it's vital to ensure your gun is in exceptional working condition, clean and well-maintained. Provide an accurate description of the firearm, specifying its make, model, caliber, and included accessories. Prepare a comprehensive bill of sale and include crucial documentation like receipts and warranty information. Finally, complete the sale and transfer ownership in a legally compliant manner, following all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Cleanliness and Maintenance:

Before selling your firearm, confirm it's in top working condition and meticulously cleaned, which can increase its overall value.

Picture of a rifle in a case, with ammo

Comprehensive Description:

When preparing your firearm for a private sale, aim to provide a thorough and precise description, including details on the make, model, caliber, and any included accessories. A comprehensive description will ensure a smooth transaction with your potential buyer.

Required Documentation:

Assemble a complete bill of sale that protects both parties in case of disputes, including information such as sale date, buyer and seller details, and firearm specifics (like make, model, and serial number). Additionally, include any relevant paperwork, like purchase receipts and warranty information.

Photo of a person signing a document

Concluding the Sale and Transferring Firearm Ownership:

Once you find a legal buyer, finalize the sale and transfer the firearm's ownership in a lawful and compliant manner. Adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.


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Choosing Cash for Arms is a reliable and secure method for selling your firearm. By selecting a reputable buyer, you can ensure a seamless and legal transaction while obtaining the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

How to sell a gun in Maryland?

In order to legally sell a firearm in Maryland, there are several steps you need to follow due to strict state laws. First, you must ensure the prospective buyer is legally able to purchase a gun. They should be at least 21 years old for handguns and 18 for long guns, with no felony convictions, history of violent crime, or drug-related convictions. Furthermore, they should not have a protective order against them. Once you have confirmed these factors, a background check must be performed by a licensed Maryland gun dealer. The buyer must fill out a Firearm/Shotgun/Rifle Application (77R) which will be sent to the Maryland State Police for background check approval; this process typically takes 7 days. In the case of a private sale, the transaction should still go through a licensed dealer to ensure that the background check is completed. Handgun transfers also require a Handgun Qualification License (HQL). After receiving approval, you can proceed with the sale. It’s a good practice to document all the details of the transaction for future reference.

Is it legal to sell guns in Maryland?

It is not illegal to sell guns in Maryland, as long you sell them through an FFL dealer.

Can I sell my pistol in Maryland?

In Maryland, if a seller is not a federally licensed firearm dealer, they must complete a private sale of a firearm through an FFL dealer to legally sell the gun to a buyer who is also not a federally licensed individual. This requirement applies to all types of firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

What is Maryland's gun policy?

In Maryland, it is typically against the law to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on your person or in your vehicle while in a public space. That means you need a permit to carry a handgun. A Maryland Wear/Carry Handgun Permit (WCHP) is required in order to legally carry a firearm.

Does Maryland require a gun license?

Yes, Maryland requires individuals to obtain a license, known as a Handgun Qualification License (HQL), to purchase, rent, or receive a handgun. The HQL is issued by the Maryland State Police and involves completing a background check, fingerprinting, and completing a training course. 

Is Maryland an open-carry state?

Maryland allows the open carry of a handgun by a person with a permit to wear, carry or transport a handgun. The Secretary of State Police may limit the geographic area, circumstances, or times in which a handgun carry permit is effective in Maryland. Maryland does not prohibit the open carrying of long guns in public.

How do I transfer ownership of a gun in Maryland?

To complete regulated transfers of handguns in Maryland, you must possess a valid photo identification issued by Maryland, such as a driver's license. Additionally, you are required to hold a Maryland HQL (Handgun Qualification License), fill out a Federal Form 4473, and start a new online application for handgun registration. The transfer fee is payable when completing the final paperwork in-store.

Can I sell my pistol in Maryland?

All sellers in Maryland, who are not federally licensed firearm dealers, must go through an FFL dealer to legally sell a firearm to a buyer who is also not a federally licensed individual. This requirement is applicable to all types of firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

How much does it cost to transfer a gun in Maryland?

The fee for all approved firearm transfers is $75.00. In the case of regulated firearms, the transfer fee will be $75.00, and there will be an additional $10.00 fee for the MSP application. If a buyer ships any firearm without prior written approval from FreeState, they will be responsible for a special handling fee of $125.00, along with any applicable MSP fee.

What is Maryland's weapon policy?

Unless for official use and authorized personnel, it is prohibited for any individual on the premises to possess openly or secretly firearms, explosives, incendiary devices, or any other hazardous or lethal weapons.



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By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.

Understanding gun sale and purchase regulations in Maryland is essential for ensuring legal compliance and a smooth transaction. By familiarizing yourself with state and federal laws governing private gun sales, you can protect yourself from potential legal issues and promote responsible firearm ownership. This comprehensive guide covers the various regulations, restrictions, and requirements you need to know when selling or buying a gun in Maryland. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and lawful firearm transaction for all parties involved.


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