Maryland HQL Course



This is a Maryland State Police - approved firearms safety training class that satisfies the training requirements to apply for the Handgun Qualification License (HQL). This class is for NON-EXEMPT residents of Maryland who wish to apply for the Handgun Qualification License (HQL) in order to purchase a handgun. Exemption details can be found on the Maryland State Police Website.

Persons required to have a Handgun Qualification License, but exempt from the training component:

  • Have completed a Maryland State Police (MSP) approved certified firearms safety course.
  • Have completed a course of instruction and been issued a certificate of competency in firearms and hunter safety from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
  • Is currently a qualified handgun instructor.
  • Is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.
  • Is an employee of an armored car company who has a valid Wear and Carry Permit issued by MSP.
  • Lawfully owns a regulated firearm. If you own a regulated firearm prior to October 1, 2013, you are not required to complete the training and may apply for the Handgun Qualification License.

Disclaimer: Successful completion of this class does NOT guarantee the issuance of a Handgun Qualification License (HQL). Successful completion of this class will only allow you to apply for the Handgun Qualification License (HQL).



This class consists of 4-hours of classroom instruction and approximately 1-hour of range time. During the classroom portion of this class, the following topics will be discussed: Application Process, State Firearm Law, Home Firearm Safety and Handgun Mechanisms and Operations. During the range portion of this class, there will be a “live-fire” component in which each student must safely shoot 1-2 rounds from a handgun. Upon successful completion of this class, each student will receive their Handgun Qualification License (HQL) training certificate.



Approximately 4-5 Hours (4 Hours + Range Time)


$80.00 Per Person 



  • Students must bring a valid driver’s license or state issued ID to class with them for verification.
  • Students must arrive on time and be present for the entire duration of class.



This class includes classroom instruction, range time and your Handgun Qualification License (HQL) training certificate. In addition, the cost of this class covers the use of a firearm, ammunition, targets, ear protection and eye protection. Please do NOT bring firearms or ammunition to this class.


  1. LiveScan Fingerprints (Secure Fingerprints: $65.00) - This class does NOT include LiveScan fingerprints. You cannot submit your Handgun Qualification License (HQL) application until fingerprinting is completed, unless you already possess a Maryland Concealed “Wear and Carry” Permit. Fingerprints must be submitted electronically via an approved LiveScan fingerprint provider. Paper fingerprint cards/ink fingerprints will NOT be accepted. See note below.
  1. State Application Fee (Orginial/Initial: $50.00) - This class does NOT include the state application fee. This fee must be paid directly to the Maryland State Police when submitting your Handgun Qualification License (HQL) application.


After you pass this class successfully and complete your LiveScan fingerprints, you must complete and submit an application for a Handgun Qualification License (HQL) to the Maryland State Police. The application for a Handgun Qualification License (HQL) must be submitted online through the Maryland State Police Online Services Webpage. Completed applications take about 2-4 weeks to process and become active. Once active, you will be mailed your Handgun Qualification License (HQL) in 7-10 business days.



The Handgun Qualification License is accessible online through MyLicense. For access, please click HERE.

To apply for an HQL, the law requires a fingerprint based background check. Fingerprints are valid for a 12 months prior to submission of the application.   

More information about the fingerprinting process is available HERE. You cannot submit your application until fingerprinting is completed, unless you already possess a Maryland Wear and Carry Permit.

Within 3 years prior to the submission of an HQL application, an applicant must demonstrate a satisfactory completion of a Firearms Safety Training Course. Qualified Handgun Instructors can be found online HERE. The Firearms Safety Training Course must be instructed by a Qualified Handgun Instructor, and shall consist of a minimum of 4 hours of instruction and include the following minimum curricula:

  1. State Firearm Law. Overview of the State firearm laws, including discussion of what constitutes a regulated firearm, how to properly purchase or transfer a firearm, where allowed to carry or transport a firearm, when necessary to possess a carry permit, who is prohibited from possessing firearms, and state law relating to minors, permissible levels of force, and use of deadly force.
  2. Home Firearm Safety. Overview of handgun and firearm safety in the home, including discussion of access to minors, locking and storing of firearms, and use of safety devices, such as secure lock boxes.
  3. Handgun Mechanisms and Operation. Overview of the proper operation and safe handling of a handgun, including cleaning and maintenance, the loading and unloading of ammunition, and the differences between revolvers and semi-automatic handguns.
  4. Operation and Handling Demonstration. Orientation component that demonstrates the person’s safe operation and handling of a firearm, to include a “live fire” component in which the applicant safely shoots the weapon. An applicant may not be required to fire in excess of 15 yards during qualifications.

How Much Does It Cost?

Original/Initial – $50.00 - Fingerprint Fees not included
Renewal – $20.00 - Fingerprint not required

Replacement/Duplicate - $20.00



The training provided in this class is only valid for 3 years. Therefore, you must submit your Handgun Qualification License (HQL) application within 3 years of completing this class.