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Maryland: Gun buyers should expect background check delays

June 24, 2020 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gun buyers in Maryland should expect delays for background checks because of a “catastrophic hardware failure” in a state data system, authorities said in an advisory this week.

The hardware failure has interrupted the ability of the Maryland State Police’s licensing division to fulfill background checks for regulated firearm purchase applications, handgun qualification license applications and state wear-and-carry permit applications. The state police said applications to buy firearms from a dealer will likely take longer than the required seven-day wait period, the Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

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The hardware failure is preventing the agency from accessing all the databases used in the process, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said. The agency is urging regulated firearms dealers not to transfer weapons until the background checks have been completed and asking them to hold pending sale releases beyond the one-week wait period.

“They are not required to by law and if they choose not to, we have set forth a procedure listed in the attached advisory to ensure we have a record of that release, should an issue arise later when our full access to the database system is restored,” Shipley said in an email to the newspaper.

Shipley could not say when the issue will be resolved.

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