Something like a reasonable concession from the NRA?


"When a person goes in to fill out the forms at a federally licensed firearms dealer, just have them put the thumbprint on the application. That's sufficient to run the checks. ... You don't need two different copies of digital fingerprints to do that."

So the objection is to digital fingerprinting as opposed to the old-fashion, inky-thumb method?

If we skipped the digital — and I'm not saying we should — Daley wouldn't object to the gun license?

"If there were a different proposal on the table, we'd look at it," he said.

Forgive this head-scratcher of a column. I just didn't expect to hear the NRA give any kind of ground. Neither did Anderson of Maryland Against Gun Violence.

"I was glad to hear that Matt was on the same page with us on a lot of these proposals, at least in principle," Anderson said. "We have no problem with the idea that the costs [of licensure] should be reasonable."

But what's reasonable?

The proposed license fee is $100. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services charges $34.50 for a combined state-federal background check for prospective employees, and $20 for fingerprinting. An NRA "basic pistol" class costs between $130 and $150.

Looks to me that a handgun license could cost up to $300.

So maybe we bring that cost down a bit, with the state subsidizing the licensure program, and we keep the requirements — training, background check, digital fingerprints.

That sounds like something approaching reasonable.

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