Many of you may have seen the Baltimore Sun Article today by Timothy B. Wheeler,
New debate rises over Maryland gun law.
I had been talking with Mr. Wheeler last week regarding the State Police claim that over 50,000 citizens had their firearms purchases given to them, per State Law, after waiting the legally determined 7 days for the State Police to do a criminal background check. It is being alleged that 200 of the 50,000 persons turned out to be disqualified from being able to purchase a firearm in Maryland. It now turns out that 1 firearm, out of the 50,000 was eventually used in a crime.
When the reporter began asking about the 200 persons who were not supposed to have firearms having them I explained how this is the fault of the Maryland State Police because they were failing to comply with State Law by not completing the required background checks within the legally allowed 7 days. I explained to the reporter why a 7 day period could be argued to be a reasonable amount of time to infringe upon the citizens ability to exercise that right while a background check was being performed. I explained to the reporter the difference between Maryland a P.O.C., Point of Contact State, where the citizen is required to go through the State Police to have background checks completed in about 120 plus days currently, and a P.O.P., Point of Purchase State such as Pennsylvania where the merchant can run the background check through the same system used by the State Police, but it is completed in approximately, 7 seconds.
I explained how the Maryland State Police claim that they do a more extensive background check which justifies the extra 119 days 23 hours 59 mins and 53 seconds to do a criminal background check.
I explained that the three things the State Police claim they have to check which are not reported to the federal authorities can all be handled by simply placing a question on the questioner forms and if the applicant answers yes to any of the three questions, the application is rejected for a more in depth criminal investigation. If the applicant lies about one or more of the answers they can be punished criminally. The three areas discussed are, Does the applicant have more thank one DUI. (Thus indicating they are a habitual alcoholic) The Second area is whether the applicant had been arrested as a juvenile for a crime that had they been an adult would have resulted in a year or more in jail) Lastly, the State Police look at whether there are any outstanding domestic violence orders against the applicant. All three of these matters can be answered with a yes or no question and a punishment for those who lie. Non of this information appeared in the Sun Paper Article.
The reporter was told to go ask the State Police how many of the 200 persons who were prohibited but purchased firearms were being prosecuted for having done so, I explained how routinely the Police allowed those attempting to purchase firearms to walk away without charges. I was later told that 60 out of the 200 were being charged. I asked if this was because the other 140 or so were cases of something like the person having been given a PBJ or found innocent at trial and answered no to the question of have you ever been “Charged” with a crime as opposed to found guilty of a crime and was told that is most likely what it is.
I went through the reasons why it is appalling that the Maryland State Police would favor changing the law because they can not do their job in complying with it. I explained it is a political decision to use an antiquated, slow, ineffective method of performing background checks which results in the unconstitutional infringement on the citizens’ of Maryland Second Amendment Rights.
I explained that the police would never tolerate citizens stating it was just too inconvenient to comply with the law, citizens should never have to tolerate such an argument from the State Police especially when the exercise of a fundamental right is at stake. I offered to help the State Police be released from this burden by proposing legislation that will make Maryland a Point of Purchase State so we can take the State Police out of the equation.
Now we are being told that one person out of the 50,000 who received their firearm purchase without the background check being performed by the State Police in the time allowed by law used that firearm in a car jacking. We also are learning that person was arrested for armed robbery in 2009. The fact that he was a juvenile then is irrelevant to whether he should have been behind bars still. If the crime was serious enough he could have been tried as an adult at the time of the crime.
There is no excuse for any argument that tries to justify Del. Cardin’s bill which will do away with the current restriction on the infringement of our Second Amendment rights, by allowing the Maryland State Police more than 7 days to do a background check.
Technology can perform the most effective background check in less than 7 seconds if we simply join the majority of States and allow Point of Purchase background checks, which is why I will be submitting a bill to do just that.