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State police cannot farm out background check work

I have been actively following stories about the processing of gun applications by the Maryland State Police ("Badly targeted gun gripes," Sept. 11). They are the only entity within the state allowed to handle or process these applications and are not authorized to share this information with other state entities.

Also, four of the five state agencies receiving this information have failed multiple audits regarding the security and handling of private information. They also failed follow-up audits that were looking to determine if corrections had been made to remedy the identified deficiencies. This is why many gun owning Marylanders do not feel safe.

Furthermore, from a management perspective, the number of applications began to surge well over a year ago. Therefore the state police have had over a year to effectively and efficiently get a handle on the application process, but instead they have waited until the 11th hour before truly getting serious about the matter.

While I'm certain pro-gun supporters were pleased to learn steps had been taken to address the backlog, once they learned the manner in which the remedy was undertaken, they became understandably uncomfortable.

There is a different level of vetting for state police versus those in other state agencies. Given the current political climate in the state, the state police should make every effort to appear they have the best interest of the state's residents in mind.

Skip Hedgepath

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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