For example, in addition to its better known provisions, SB 281 includes new regulations on licensed firearms dealers and new powers for the state police to monitor them. That's important because Maryland has ranked near the top nationally in the number of firearms its federally licensed dealers report as lost, which should raise concerns among authorities about whether some of those guns are actually being sold illegally, off-books to people who would be prohibited from owning them. This is not a hypothetical concern. The most famous such case in the state was that of Valley Gun, a Parkville gun shop repeatedly cited by federal authorities for record-keeping discrepancies that meant large numbers of guns could not be traced to their owners. Hundreds of guns from that shop wound up at crime scenes in Baltimore alone. Nonetheless, it took federal authorities years to discover the problem and years more to shut Valley Gun down. Thanks to budget cuts, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can only inspect licensed dealers once every five years, at best. But Maryland's new law ameliorates that problem by requiring the state police to inspect the inventory and records of every dealer at least every two years and as often as officials deem necessary. The question those who seek to be Maryland's next governor need to answer is, how big a priority will such investigations be for the next state police superintendent, and how much funding will he or she have to pursue them?