Cumberland Times-News

September 20, 2013

Gun applications may be processed by other agencies outside MSP

Upcoming firearms regulations cause influx of incoming permits

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — An Anne Arundel County judge denied a request from Maryland gun clubs and associations for a temporary restraining order to stop the Maryland State Police from using other agencies to process backlogged gun applications.

Greg Shipley in the MSP Office of Media Communications said that the program, where up to 200 employees from other state agencies assisted in the process, was short-lived and ended about a week and a half ago. “It started on a Friday and ended on a Wednesday,” he said.

Shipley said that the issue of an injunction is still in litigation. Judge Nancy Lee Davis-Loomis scheduled a Sept. 27 hearing on the complaint, according to The Washington Times.

“The Maryland State Police believes this complaint has no basis and the action has no merit,” a statement that was given in response to the injunction petition said. The Maryland State Police fully complied with all laws and regulations. The procedure was reviewed by the Attorney General’s Office and found to be appropriate. We will continue to work diligently to address this unprecedented increase in regulated firearm purchase applications in accordance with Maryland law and regulation and with the safety of Maryland citizens as our utmost priority.”

Delegate Kevin Kelly had requested the Maryland Attorney General’s Office to determine if it was legal for MSP to engage employees outside its agencies to help with the backlog. He and other opponents of the action believed that it violated gun applicants’ privacy rights.

Shipley said that as of Sept. 13, the state police received 94,100 firearms permit applications and had processed 50,653. They expect the number to increase to at least 100,000. “There is a big gun show this weekend. We expect a lot more,” he said Friday afternoon.

A new law that takes effect Oct. 1 will require stricter background checks for incoming permit applications. Shipley said that in the last two weeks, MSP was receiving 1,000 applications a day.

According to court documents, the MSP has opted to have 24 employees of the ­Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services help with the backlog and the data entry has been moved to an internal network.