WASHINGTON - Despite a dedication of more resources and a ramped up effort to address a backlog of gun purchase applications, Maryland has become overwhelmed and inundated.
"Firearms purchase applications continue to come into our licensing division at a rate we have never before seen," said Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.
"We've received well over 100,000 applications so far this year, far exceeding anything close to that in years past," he said.
The police department's licensing division has added to its staff and hours of operation, still the backlog sits around 50,000, just days before the state's tough new gun control law takes effect.
In recent weeks, police have received about 1,000 applications every day.
"One year ago, we were receiving, on average, 154 applications a day," said Shipley.
Maryland's new law bans the sale of assault-style rifles and requires a license to buy a handgun.
Given the current backlog, however, state officials are waiving the license requirement for those on the waiting list.
According to a statement from Maryland State Police, "Marylanders who have submitted handgun purchase applications on or before Sept. 30 will not be required to obtain a handgun qualification license."
The gun control law goes into effect Oct. 1.
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