BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland State Police are in overdrive trying to keep up with tens of thousands of firearm applications in advance of the new gun control laws that take effect next week.

Political reporter Pat Warren has an update on the progress.

Monday’s hearing on Maryland gun regulations drew a crowd of protesters to Lawyers’ Mall.

“It was against the wishes of the people. The people showed up in masses and still they refused to listen to us,” said Craig Lester.

Marylanders who may never have thought of arming themselves are trying to get in under the wire, buying weapons at 10 times the normal rate.

“It has been an unprecedented increase and it has reached now into the low 100,000s that we have received this year. Our backlog stands at about 50,000,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.

So they’ve called in reinforcements housed in trailers brought in just to get these applications processed, working seven days a week, 21 hours a day, 24,000 hours of overtime, doubling the workforce–and applications keep coming.

“We’ve just seen this increase in numbers that we’ve never seen before,” Shipley said.

That means some applications won’t be processed by Oct. 1.

“For those who have applied to purchase a firearm up until Oct. 1, they would not be required to obtain the handgun qualification license,” Shipley said.

If the one question gun purchasers want answered is whether their application will be void after Oct. 1, the answer is no.

After Oct. 1, gun buyers will have to be licensed, fingerprinted and take firearms training.


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