COLUMBIA, Md. - Several law enforcement agencies are joining Maryland State Police to help troopers conduct background checks for people applying to buy guns.
The initiative began Monday at the state police office in Columbia with as many as 20 additional officers from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Natural Resources Police, Maryland Transit Administration Police and the Maryland Capital Police helping with a backlog that came about as gun owners rushed to purchase certain weapons before new stricter gun control laws go into effect Oct. 1.
The tighter law bans certain weapons, limits magazine size and includes new requirements for background checks, including handgun qualification license and fingerprinting.
The assistance from other law enforcement agencies came as state police received assistance recently from five state agencies who helped input applicant data for as many as 38,000 permit applications so that troopers could concentrate on the background checks.
Critics of the approach to tackling the backlog, including Harford County Executive and gubernatorial candidate David Craig, have expressed concerns over people’s privacy being breached through the process. However, state police have assured the public that all proper safeguards have been taken, including destroying all discs with information after they have been inputted into the system.
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