PIKESVILLE, Md. - Maryland State Police announced that state residents who have submitted handgun purchase applications on or before Sept. 30 will not be required to obtain a handgun qualification license.
Under new state laws, which take effect Oct. 1, residents who purchase guns in Maryland will deal with several requirements, including a background check, completing a firearm safety and proficiency course and be fingerprinted.
Many upset with the new laws expressed concerns that those that applied to purchase guns prior to Oct.1 but didn’t take possession of the weapon until afterward because of the backlog would be required to obtain a handgun qualification license. This was backed up by an advisory letter from the Maryland Attorney General’s office to Del. Mike Smigel outlining the office’s interpretation of the law.
However, state police said it will not enforce the requirements of the new law with respect to applicants whose applications are pending as of Oct. 1.
“It was widely understood that the new requirements would not be enforced as to applications that were pending before October 1,” the state police said in a statement. “In light of the number of currently pending applications—resulting from the unprecedented spike in new applications in recent months—it is a fair, reasoned, and appropriate result for those who are waiting for their pending purchase applications to be processed.”
State police also announced Tuesday that two dozen data entry personnel have been enlisted to assist with the entry of information from additional firearm purchase applications that have been received in the last two weeks at the rate of about 1,000 per day.
This comes after state police brought in officers from other Maryland law enforcement agencies to help conduct background checks to eliminate the background. As of Sept. 20, 102,001 purchase applications had been received. Of those, 52,256 had been processed, according to state police.
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