It would appear that Maryland gun owners may no longer casually introduce friends to shooting and firearms safety. From the Maryland State Police:
Unless otherwise exempted, a person may not purchase, rent, or receive a handgun unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (H.Q.L.) issued by the Maryland Department of State Police. Unless otherwise exempted, prior to submitting an application for an H.Q.L. or Handgun Wear/Carry Permit, applicants must complete a firearmâ€™s safety training course by an approved and registered Qualified Handgun Instructor.
The Firearmâ€™s Safety Training Course, for the Handgun Qualification License, shall consist of a minimum of four (4) hours of instruction and affirms the applicantâ€™s safe operation of the firearm which requires firing at least one round of ammunition.
I’m not sure what all the exemptions are, but one would assume that at least one is this formal class since firing a round would require “receiv[ing]” a gun. Otherwise, it would be impossible to meet the training requirements.
Though NRA-certified instructors are eligible to become Qualified Handgun Instructors, they are now required to develop a brand new course curriculum rather than strictly use NRA’s curriculum. NRA’s training division highlights at least one concern on this front since the new curriculum requirements involve teaching legal issues in firearms ownership. This comes from an email sent to certified instructors:
…there is a requirement that instruction must be given on Maryland state law pertaining to firearms and self-defense. Rendering legal advice or interpretation is a task for attorneys, and instructors who are not licensed to practice law may wish to seek legal advice regarding the limits of what they can do in this regard.
So now instructors, in addition to registering with the state for new qualifications and developing a brand new curriculum, must now also consult with an attorney to help them write up their new class contents. That will drive up their costs, and that will likely be passed on to students. Now Maryland has successfully made basic safety training more expensive and harder to teach.
One of the interesting aspects of their requirement to develop a new curriculum is that NRA requires that you not call something an NRA class if you’re not following the NRA curriculum. (That was part of the instructor class when I took it years ago.) That effectively means that people just coming into the shooting sports will no longer associate the NRA brand with teaching firearms safety courses.
If you really want to look at an ultra-creepy perspective, this training database means that Maryland will not only have information on gun owners in the state, but they will also be keeping a list of everyone who even learns how to fire a gun.