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Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Many do not know what is truly legal, or illegal, in Maryland. I can't tell you how many times I read what the law says but someone proudly responds in disbelief with "But my son's girlfreind's dad met this cop at a bar and he said..."

Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Yeah well...

I don't like getting in pissing arguments with people. And the great thing about the law is, you can show them in writing what the law actually states. They can see what is says and equally important, what it doesn't say.

Example 1 (See Exhibit A Below):

4-203 (a) (1) States that it is illegal to wear, carry, or transport a handgun whether open or concealed with exceptions noted in 4-203 (b) (2) which includes a person that has an actively issued Maryland Handgun Permit (Formerly known as the Maryland Permit to Carry a Handgun).

Exhibit A:

Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Oh damn, I am really going to blow some minds with this next revelation. Also viewable in Exhibit A above, another exception (separate from 2) is carrying of a handgun on the person to or from the legal place of purchase, sale, or to or from a bona fide repair shop, or between bona fide residences of the person, or between bona fide residence and place of business of the person, if the business is operated and owned substantially by the person if the handgun is unloaded and in an enclosed holster. Again read it for yourself in Exhibit A above which is a screen shot from Criminal Law Code Annotated Subsection 4-203 on Lexis Nexis current through legislation effective Nov 6, 2020.

Now, that is me showing you what the law actually states. Am I giving you life advise or making recommendations? No, I am displaying factual information to grown adults so that they can make an educated decision. Its an unfortunate reality that people pass on incorrect information to meet their personal desires or because they were fed false information and never took the time to verify its validity.

Might you be conducting yourself legally but run into a law enforcement officer that doesn't know what the law allows, yup. In such a case, be calm and collected. Be professional and understanding. Don't be surprised if they put you in handcuffs. Shut up and lawyer up . Do not attempt to be helpful. Don't decide to talk because you think you have nothing to hide and what could it hurt (more in depth blog article on that to follow).

But as I always say- just because its on the internet, doesn't mean its true. Take the time to verify what you have read here. Then take the time to share this article with fellow gun owners and any friends you may have that work in the Maryland Law Enforcement community.

For those wondering what is an enclosed holster

Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Now, am I recommending open carry over concealed carry? No. Do I open carry? Yes.

Now lets talk about why I open carry. It is effective advertisement in Maryland. It's a conversation starter. I don't carry openly because I think it is cool, because I want everyone to know I need my ego stroked or because I want people to mistakenly think I work in Law Enforcement.

You may say: But open carry is dangerous and stupid. If a bad guy see's you he could should you first or try to take your gun. I wouldn't disagree with you.

On the other side you may say: Man, if a bad guy see's you open carrying, that may deter crime or stop a violent encounter. Eh, I think at times there may be truth to that as well.

I recognize and value both sides. I definitely recognize the down side to open carry and think those points are very valid. But, as a small business owner, I have found the valuable advertisement this provides with outweigh the very real negatives that it comes with. This opinion of mine is based on 5 years of open carrying as a small business owner that is in the business of helping to arm others throughout Maryland.

Over the years it has helped in starting many productive conversations and assisted in selling out MD Wear & Carry classes throughout Maryland. We also have had the opportunity to educate not only citizens but also law enforcement on the legal rights of Americans in Maryland ( see video here about one particular experience).

Below are more screenshots showing Maryland Criminal Law Code Annotated Subsection 4-203 in its entirety.

Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Legal to Open Carry in Maryland?

Additionally, here is a video that we have put together on Maryland Firearms Law, as well as self defense. Be sure to hit the subscribe button as we post helpful videos weekly related to firearms, law, training and much more.

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