PIKESVILLE, Md. - Maryland State Police said it has just about caught up on a backlog of gun permit applications that have flooded the agency as stricter gun control laws are set to take effect Oct. 1.
Maryland State Police spokesman Gregg Shipley said that five state agencies assisted police with inputting approximately 38,000 applications into the system, which will free up state police personnel to concentrate on the background check portion of the permitting process.
Each background check takes between 40 and 45 minutes to complete if no issues arise, Shipley said. He added that the agency is hopeful and optimistic that they will be all caught up by the end of the month, a goal shared by Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The backlog has led to many issues, including gun purchasers being forced to wait months for their purchase as the state tackles the backlog. Some dealers have released the weapons despite the checks not clearing as state law allows for that after just a 7-day waiting period.
Shipley said the delays have led to 45 instances where people who shouldn't have gotten guns did, but all of the firearms have since been recovered.
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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