Maryland Handgun Background Check System Crashes, Leaving Gun Buyers in Limbo

Maryland's background check system has crashed, creating new hurdles for residents who are already subject to one of the strictest gun-control regimes in the country.

Maryland State Police confirmed on Tuesday night that the system they use to process background checks for handgun-purchase permits crashed on Sunday and remains down. The state police are now advising dealers to hold recently purchased handguns as they attempt to fix the system but have provided no timetable for fixing the issue. Marylanders may have to wait well beyond the seven days required under state law to take home their legally purchased handguns.

"The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) experienced a failure in their data system, which has inhibited our ability to do complete background checks for individuals purchasing regulated firearms or applying for handgun qualification licenses or carry permits," state police spokesman Greg Shipley told the Washington Free Beacon. "The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is working diligently to fix the problem."

The system's crash has hampered the Second Amendment rights of state residents, according to gun-rights activists. Mark Pennak, president of the gun-rights group Maryland Shall Issue, said his members are being affected by the delays. He said the problem was compounded by the state's gun laws, which are among the strictest in the nation, especially when it comes to purchasing handguns. The week-long waiting period becomes indefinite as long as background checks cannot be performed.

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