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“Private” firearms sellers (persons who are not licensed dealers) must process transfers of “regulated firearms” (handguns and assault weapons)1 and rifles and shotguns through a licensed dealer, who conducts a background check.2 Regulated firearms may also be transferred through a designated law enforcement agency.3 In addition, no regulated firearm, rifle, or shotgun transfers may be made to any person whom the private seller knows or has a reasonable cause to believe is a prohibited purchaser under state law.4 See the Maryland Prohibited Purchasers Generally and Maryland Minimum Age to Purchase/Possess sections for detailed information.

For laws requiring sellers to record and report firearm sales, see the section entitled Retention of Sales / Background Checks Records in Maryland. See the Maryland Design Safety Standards for Handguns for laws limiting the types of handguns that may be sold in Maryland.


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  1. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-101(r).[]
  2. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-124(a) (regulated firearms); id. § 5-204.1 (rifles and shotguns).[]
  3. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-124(a)(2).[]
  4. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 5-134(b) (regulated firearms); id. § 5-207(c) (rifles and shotguns).[]