Updated: Nov 24, 2018
Fact: Yes, Open Carry in Maryland is legal. For rifles and shotguns- no permit/licensing is needed. Per Maryland law, they do require a MD Permit to Carry a Handgun to openly carry a handgun.
I have seen misinformation put out on different forums and groups- including an instructor that stated "...do it and you will likely lose your permit!". I have no idea where this misinformation started or why people find it necessary to put out baseless information like this. No one has ever lost their MD Permit to Carry a Handgun for open carrying. I do it everyday and have never even had anyone ask to see my permit. I did have a LT with Maryland State Police Licensing Division speak with me as I was leaving the Handgun Permit Review Board (I was not armed in that moment because it is not allowed in that building). He brought up that in the recent past he was made aware of an incident where a person, not fond of guns, had called local law enforcement because I was open carry while visiting a car dealership to have my oil changed. The LEO contacted MSP Licensing Division to verify this was lawful, to which it was acknowledged as lawful. The LEO never made contact with me that day and I had zero clue until speaking with this LT with MSP.
He acknowledged to me that was I was doing was lawful, that doing so would NOT jeopardize my permit but that he wouldn't advise doing so because there are some in the community that are fearful of inanimate objects. I thanked him for his time and advise.
I still carry openly. It's not because of the thought process that some have that it could ward of any potential evil doers, discouraging them from a potential violent act. It's not because I want to misrepresent myself as being law enforcement. It's not that I want to publicly display myself as some cool badass with a gun. For me- its simply another effective form of advertising. It's not common in MD to find an average citizen carrying a firearm. Many (even instructors and gun shop owners) aren't aware it can be legally done, open or concealed. It brings inquisitive viewers to approach me with questions which allows me an opportunity to give them fact based answers and tell them about the services I offer. I am a experienced firearms instructor but I am also a business owner and a marketing genius of sorts.
Now, do I advise others to open carry? No. Do I open carry in VA where it is common-practice and therefore not an effective advertising tool? No. In my opinion, would individuals be more effective leading up to a defensive situation if they concealed carried- absolutely. But will I knock those that chose to do it- not a bit. Will I ignorantly/falsely tell others that they will lose their permit if they do so, in an attempt to more effectively project my opinion onto them- nope.
We will talk about how open carry of a rifle and/or shotgun is lawful more in depth in a future blog article.
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