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All About the Maryland Handgun Roster

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

I am sure at some point in each of your lives, maybe even today, you have asked, "What the heck is a Handgun Roster"? Well, you've came to the right right place to find out. This video with blog companion is all about the handgun roster. What it is, when it came to be, how handguns are added to the roster, what handguns are currently on the roster, and what other areas have handgun rosters.

What is a handgun roster?

In it's simplest terms, a handgun roster is generally a list of handguns that are approved to be manufactured, sold, given, loaned, exposed for sale, transferred, or imported into a state.

A handgun roster is supposed to stop poorly designed and/or manufactured handguns from reaching the population. This, in theory, would help reduce the amount of negligent/accidental discharges that result in many deaths and injuries every year.

How many states have a Handgun Roster?

As of now, there are three States and Washington DC that have a handgun roster; California, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

The beginning of Maryland's Handgun Roster

During the 1980’s an inordinate number of crimes were being committed with low quality handguns, known as “Saturday Night Specials.” The state legislature banned these weapons, and developed the Handgun Roster Board in 1988 by a Ballot Measure.

The Maryland Manufacture and Sale of Handguns Amendment, also known as Question 3, was on the November 8, 1988 ballot in Maryland as a veto referendum, where it was approved. The measure prohibited the manufacture and sale of certain handguns and established the Handgun Roster Board. The measure required the board to compile a roster of permitted handguns found to be useful for sporting, self-protection or law enforcement purposes.

The Maryland Handgun Roster Law

The Handgun Roster is in the Law Books under Maryland Public Safety Code § 5-401 through 5-406. § 5-406 really hits on how the Law affects us such as the policy and the punishment's. You can find all of these over on the General Assembly website or you can check it out the important ones here in the following attachments:

Download PDF • 233KB

Download PDF • 242KB

Download PDF • 229KB

How does a handgun get placed on the Handgun Roster?

The Handgun Roster Board has the ability to add a handgun to the Handgun Roster on it's own initiative, or a handgun can be added by submitting a petition.

Once a petition is submitted, the Handgun Roster Board will review it based on these characteristics when making a determination: concealability, ballistic accuracy, weight, quality of material, quality of manufacture, reliability as to safety, caliber, detectability and utility for legitimate sporting activities, self-protection or law

enforcement. These "characteristics" are subjective and not easily understood. We know... thanks again Maryland.

You can submit a handgun for review using this petition:

Handgun Roster Petition
Download PDF • 616KB

How can you tell if a handgun is on the Handgun Roster?

The easiest way to find out if a handgun is on the Handgun Roster is to follow this link: . You will be able to search by manufacturer and model. Be sure to check back regularly as changes to the roster happen quarterly.

Also, your local gun store has access to a complete list: according to §5–405, the Handgun Roster Board must send a complete list twice a year to any regulated FFL.

Sometimes. It may be easier to see if a handgun is not on the roster by looking at the list of dis-approved firearms.

You can find that list here:

DEC_2020_Disapproved List
Download PDF • 346KB

What about the DC Roster?

Rest assured, if your handgun is on the Maryland Handgun Roster, it is likely to be on the DC Handgun Roster as well.

The reason for this is that DC adopted the Maryland Handgun Roster, as well as the Rosters from California and Massachusetts. You can read more about that here.

What's next?

Now that you have the facts, next comes the training.

Let's get you signed up for some training so that you can more effectively defend yourself and those you love both in and outside the home.

Check out our Multi-State Training that can help you carry in Maryland, DC and Virginia by clicking this link or just give Mike a call at 240 925 5788

As always,

Learn. Defend. Prevail.

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