A gun background check is required in Maryland for the purchase of a handgun. Laws in this State also require that a seven-day waiting period be implemented from the time that a purchaser completes an application to the time they receive the firearm. Furthermore, in accordance with Firearm Safety Act of 2013, Maryland residents must apply for a Handgun Qualification License in order to lawfully own a handgun (unless they already legally own one prior to October 1, 2013).

Bill of Sale – This document is used to transfer a firearm from a registered firearms dealer to a licensed buyer.

MSP 77R – In order to be approved to receive a firearm the Maryland State Police Application and the Affidavit to Purchase a Regulated Firearm (MSP 77R) must be completed by the purchaser using the online Licensing Portal.

Prohibited from Purchasing – An individual should be prohibited from being transferred a firearm if they fit any of the following descriptions:

  • Has been convicted of a violent crime, felony, or accessory to felony
  • Has been imprisoned for more than two years
  • Has not completed a certified firearms safety training course
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Is a drug or alcohol addict or is visibly under the influence
  • Is suffering from a mental disorder and has a history of exhibiting violent behaviour
  • Is under 21 years old


Step 1 – There are two ways to perform a gun background check on a purchaser; you can either do so by phone by calling FBI NICS at 1 (877) 324-6427, or you can conduct a check online. To perform a background check online, you will need to have an account with the FBI NICS website. If you do not already have an account, navigate to this webpage and click Agree. If you do already have an account, proceed to Step 3 of this guide.

Step 2 – On the next page, you are asked to supply all of the information listed below.

  • FFL ID number
  • FFL code word
  • Name of FFL business
  • Street address of business
  • City
  • State or territory
  • Zip code
  • FFL business phone
  • Phone extension (optional)
  • Last name
  • Cadence (e.g. Jr., Sr.) (optional)
  • First name
  • Middle name (optional)
  • Date of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Email address

Click “Registration” and, in the subsequent pages, you will be able to finalize the creation of your account.

Step 3 – To log in to your account, you will need to navigate to this webpage and provide your “username” in the indicated space. Select either “Password” or “Token” as your certification method and click Sign In to continue.

Step 4 – Provide the answer to your personalized “challenge question” or your “token code” and indicate whether you would like the website to recognize the device that you are using (if applicable). Click Next or Token Sign In to continue.

Step 5 – You should now be able to perform your gun background check on your purchaser. You will receive a response as how to proceed.