What the Law Means to You
Firearms safety training requirements of
The Responsible Gun Safety Act
took effect January 1, 2002.
Public Safety Article § 5-118;
Public Safety Article § 5-134
The law makes firearms safety training a prerequisite to obtaining a regulated firearm1. An individual may satisfy the training requirement by taking a course that is approved by the Maryland Police Training Commission.
In general, effective January 1, 2002, the law prohibits the sale, rental or transfer of a regulated firearm to a person whom the transferor knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, has not completed a certified firearms safety training course.2
Public Safety Article § 5-134
Under the law, a person required to take a firearms safety training course may satisfy the Firearms Safety Training requirement in one of three ways:
by taking the free firearms safety training course which the Police Training Commission is required to provide; 3
by taking a course offered by an individual or organization certified by the Police Training Commission, the Department of Natural Resourses, or the Maryland State Police, that includes a handgun safety component or
by taking a course that includes a firearms safety component conducted by an individual or organization certified by:
"...[a]ny reputable organization having as one of its objectives the promotion of competency and safety in handling handguns whose course has been determined by the Commission to meet the regulations adopted by the Commission."
Public Safety Article § 3-208 (c)
For more information on the Free Firearms Safety Training course, Click Here.
1 "Regulated firearm" is defined as either a handgun or assault weapon. Public Safety Article § 5-101(p). A handgun is defined to mean "any firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches in length including signal, starter and blank pistols." Public Safety Act § 5-101(n). Public Safety Article § 5-101(p)(2) lists the firearms that constitute assault weapons; the term includes any copy of an enumerated firearm.
2 There are a number of exemptions from the training requirement. Mandatory training does not apply to State or local law enforcement officers, individuals with qualifying military service, certain individuals required to maintain handguns pursuant to federal law, individuals who possess a handgun permit under Public Safety Article § 5-301 - 5-314, and individuals who have already completed an approved course.
Public Safety Article § 5-119
3 Section 3-208(d) of the Public Safety Article sets the following criteria for the course offered by the Police Training Commission:
The required certified firearms training course [offered by the Commission] shall:...
1. Be offered free of charge or fee;
2. Be no more than 2 hours in length;
3. Be conducted or offered at least once each week in all geographical areas of the State and be available after regular business hours;
4. Be open to any individual required by law to complete the firearms safety training course, within 2 weeks of the request of the individual;
5. not require any skills or knowledge testing in the use of a regulated firearm in order to successfully complete the course; and
6. only require attendance throughout the duration of the course in order to successfully complete the course...