Guns selling well in Maryland as new law deadline looms

(WJLA) - From the well-known Glock to the most notorious assault rifles, guns are selling well at the Maryland Small Arms Range.

“We’re way, way ahead of where we were last year in the number of people coming to buy guns,” Jack Donald says.

For months customers have been pouring into the store, hoping to beat the Oct. 1 deadline when stricter guns laws take effect.

On Oct. 1, gun buyers won’t be able to purchase 45 different types of assault weapons or a magazine exceeding 10 rounds. Handgun buyers will need a Handgun Qualification License, which includes four hours of training and a shooting component among other standards. Anyone who has applied for a gun before the deadline will be grandfathered in under the old laws.

Donald says the rush means enormous amounts of paperwork.

“All of these folders are the paper work that we've submitted to the police for background checks,” he says.

Only recently have applications from May been approved.

“We've just never seen anything like this,” says Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police.

Shipley says roughly 50,000 people are waiting for a response on their police background checks. However, under state law, firearm dealers can give a buyer a gun after just a seven-day wait period without an approved background check.

“There have actually firearms released to people who, after we got to their background check in the pile, we realized they were prohibited,” Shipley says.

Shipley adds that police will quickly confiscate guns from those who aren’t supposed to have them.

Donald says they’re reluctant to sell before a completed background check, worried about potential liability.

Customers like Allison Mooney say they don’t mind waiting what could be months for a new handgun.
“We would like through the process without all the other additional paperwork and fingerprinting, we would just rather not do that,” Mooney says.