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Kevin C. Kelly

Guns released to buyers with criminal histories

Guns released to buyers with criminal histories

Maryland gun dealers released more than two dozen firearms to people barred from owning guns because of their criminal records — a consequence of the state's inability to keep up with background checks, officials said Thursday.

The state police expect more guns to get into the wrong hands if dealers refuse to wait for what has become a nearly 100-day delay in completing the checks, which are intended to be done before individuals buy handguns and assault rifles. Under state law, dealers can release the guns after waiting seven days.

"Is this something that could continue through this backlog? Absolutely," Maryland State Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley...