Jeff Gahler, the Harford County Sheriff-elect, plans to not only conduct a "bottom-to-the-top" assessment of the Harford County Sheriff's Office when he takes office Dec. 1, but also work with allies on the state level to repeal strict gun control legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2013.
"I want to sit down and work on some common-sense and practical legislation," he said Wednesday, one day after he defeated two-term incumbent Sheriff Jesse Bane.
Gahler, a Republican and retired Maryland State Police captain, beat the Democratic Bane 48,688 votes to 37,697 votes, according to unofficial results posted on the Harford County Board of Elections website.
Gahler took 56.3 percent of the vote, compared to Bane's 43.59 percent; there were also 95 write-in votes, or .11 percent.
The full results of local and statewide races will be known once all absentee and provisional ballots are counted by Nov. 14.
Gahler said he wants to work with Harford County's majority-Republican legislative delegation to repeal the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013 and develop methods of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals while ensuring law-abiding residents can purchase firearms.
The bill passed in Annapolis, despite all members of the Harford County delegation voting against it in 2013, including the lone Democrat, Del. Mary-Dulany James, who was defeated in her bid for state senator this year by Republican Bob Cassilly.
Gahler noted Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican, does not plan to repeal the law, which Hogan has said in various media interviews.
Gahler described Maryland as "not a friendly state when it comes to gun-friendly legislation."
"It doesn't mean we don't go down there and push for common sense legislation," he said.