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Maryland police work ‘around the clock’ to process gun applications after data system failure is fixed

Maryland State Police said staff members are working “around the clock” to process regulated firearm purchase applications after a state data system was restored.

Maryland State Police Licensing Division employees are working to review 893 firearm purchase applications after the state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services reported a data system failure earlier this week that prohibited police from completing the background checks, state police said in a statement Thursday. The system was restored late Wednesday.

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The system failure affected the licensing division’s ability to complete background investigations for regulated firearm purchase applications, handgun qualification license applications and state wear-and-carry permit applications.

The background checks and a mandatory seven-day waiting period are required before handguns can be purchased. State police had asked registered dealers to withhold sales until the background checks could be completed, but they were not required to.

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“The licensing division continues to work with Maryland’s licensed firearms dealers to track any regulated firearm released after the waiting period, but before full completion of the background check process,” a state police statement said.

State police said 52 firearms were released to customers after the seven-day waiting period passed, and were the first to undergo background checks when they resumed. None of those individuals were found to have been prohibited from obtaining a firearm.

State police said that even with employees working 24 hours a day, it will take “several days” for employees to work through the remaining applications that should have been previously processed.

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