Free HQL classes are being offered By ATLANTIC TACTICAL FIREARMS TRAINING - 410-713-2333. Class conducted once a month. R.S. Mitchell is the contact.

What is an HQL?: HQL stands for Handgun Qualifying License. Unless you are active or retired (in good standing) Military or US/Maryland law enforcement, you must obtain an HQL.

What do you need to do to obtain an HQL?: You need two things prior to obtaining an HQL.

1) You will have to take a Handgun Safety Course if you are not exempt (see below). Click here for a list of certified insturctors.
2) You will need to get your fingerprints submitted electronically to the State Police. You can do this at a number of fingerprint centers (a list can be found at

Once you obtain your safety certification and fingerprints (keep the receipt from your fingerprints - you will need it for the HQL application), go to and begin the application for your HQL.

Who is exempt from the training portion of the HQL?

  1. Are an active law enforcement officer of the United States, the State of Maryland, or any local law enforcement agency of Maryland.
  2. A person who retired in good standing from any of the above law enforcement agencies. 
  3. Are an active or retired member or honorably discharged member of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard.
  4. Are a Qualified Handgun Instructor.
  5. Have completed a firearms safety training course approved by the Maryland State Police (you currently own a Maryland regulated firearm).

What are the fees involved? The safety class fee will vary per instructor (normally between $75 & $125). Fingerprinting will cost between $40 & $60 depending on the facility of your choice. The application fee is $50 and the license is good for 10 years.