Maryland requires all vendors displaying state-defined “regulated firearms” (handguns and assault weapons)1 for transfer from a table or fixed display at a gun show to hold either a valid Maryland regulated firearms dealer’s license or, for persons displaying a firearm at five or fewer gun shows per year, a temporary transfer permit issued by Secretary of the Maryland State Police.2 Maryland defines a gun show as “any organized gathering open to the public at which any firearm is displayed.”3 All prospective transfers of regulated firearms at a gun show are subject to a background check.4
Each temporary transfer permit is valid for a single gun show, and a person may not receive more than five permits during a single calendar year.5
Persons displaying standard rifles and shotguns are not required to possess either a dealer’s license or a temporary transfer permit, and private transfers of these firearms are not subject to federal or state background check requirements, although federal and limited state purchaser prohibitions still apply.
See the Maryland Private Sales section for state laws that may apply at gun shows.
See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r).
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(c), (i). Applicants for temporary transfer permits are subject to a background investigation. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(e), (g). For additional information, see Md. Code Regs. 29.03.01.18 – 29.03.01.22.
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(a).
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(j).
- Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-130(i)(1). Sales of regulated firearms at public auctions or flea markets must comply with Maryland’s firearm transfer laws. Md. Code Regs. 29.03.01.23.