Maryland chokes Second Amendment, then gives guns without checks

Maryland passes restrictive gun laws then hands out guns before it can complete background checks. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON September 24, 2013 — Edited: As the October 1 deadline to purchase soon to be banned firearms in Maryland approaches, the State of Maryland is having trouble keeping up with the overwhelming demand in firearms background checks which have come pouring in from gun stores around the state. In response, Gov. O’Malley has repurposed thousands of government workers to help sort through the background check applications in an effort to expedite the process.

However, many perspective gun owners wonder if the government will be able to process the application before the deadline.

In an effort to allow applicants to receive weapons before the Maryland Gun Safety Act of 2013 takes effect, the Maryland Courts have made a ruling which will allow gun buyers to take possession of their weapons while the State performs the necessary background check.

The irony of the measure is immense. The state that passed one of the toughest gun control acts in the nation is now allowing thousands upon thousands of proposed gun owners to simply pick up their soon-to-be-banned weapons while their background check clears.

Gov. O’Malley passed this recent law on the pretext that crime was running rampant and that without these measures, criminals will run rampant with legally purchased AR-15’s and civilian brand AK-47’s and commit crime after crime against other gangs and against innocent civilians. However according to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in 2012 Maryland reported its lowest crime rate ever. Ever. The language reads “Lowest ever reported.”

That means that without the Gun Act, in 2012 Maryland was able to still see a drop in overall violent crime. The only crime statistic that was higher than the year before was rape. Violent crime was the lowest reported since 1977, and it was ranked the lowest ever reported in regards to totals from other years.

In 2012 there were 69,606 firearm transfer applications in Maryland, 53,444 of which were accepted at a pass percentage of roughly 76%, leaving 24% unable to transfer for whatever reason. Currently, the firearm application system in Maryland is backlogged by 40,000.

This means that applicants can take their guns home and then simply return them if they do not pass the background check.

In 2012, 74% of gun applications were accepted and 26% were rejected. Using that same rate, of the 40,000 backlogged applicants, approximately 10,400 will likely be rejected in the background checks.  That means 10,400 firearms are going to people who, according to the state of Maryland, should never have taken possession of them in the first place.

Maryland was not prepared for this situation. They are not allowing gun store owners to use the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) to expidite the process on the grounds that their check is more effiecient and expansive. Governor O’Malley and the Maryland State Police have created a situation where they expect those criminals who managed to get guns to simply walk back into the store and say “Aha, I almost had you guys”? No, even if 1% of those rejected weapons ends up on the street that is an increase of 104 weapons to which Gov. O’Malley is specifically trying to restrict access.

Now please will someone explain how allowing so many guns to walk out the door, many of which are the soon to be banned terrible mind of their own death dealing automatrons, is somehow congruent with Gov. O’Malley’s policies towards guns in Maryland? 

Could it be that he realizes that law abiding citizens pose no real threat to the violent crime rate in Maryland?

Could it be that there are more Marylanders upset about these new laws than expected?

Could it be that the Gov. Realizes that these weapons aren’t the problem?

Maybe he wanted to crate a backlog, further impeding the right to bear arms and making it more difficult to obtain firearms. 

If Gov. O’Malley wanted to prove to the country that he was tough on firearms he would not let 40,000 guns which will be illegal next week to walk this week.

Perhaps people should be asking themselves why Gov. O’Malley passed these laws in the first place.

Perhaps the people and the voters of Maryland should consider that Gov. O’Malley did not pass these laws to stop violent crime, which is dropping. Or to prevent more mass shootings, which make up a fraction of the yearly gun deaths. Or to keep these guns out of the hands of criminals, who don’t use legally bought weapons in the first place.

Perhaps Gov. O’Malley has choked the life out of the 2nd Amendment rights of Maryland citizens, and played politics with the ability of Marylanders to not be treated like criminals when buying firearms, in order to one day hear the phrase…President O’Malley.  

 

 


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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a B.A. from Catholic University in DC in American History, with a concentration on guerrilla warfare on American soil. He has an M.A. in US History from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with a concentration on Cold War insurgency. He believes that all news and all information should be taken with a grain of salt, and implores people everywhere to seek news stories everywhere. 

Higgins is also a fervent believer in the traditional role of media, in terms of acting as a balanced check on government policies and individuals regardless of party affiliation. But in the end, he believes that no matter how heated an issue is, there is nothing that can't be discussed over a smoke and some whiskey. 

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