“It starts to become a safety factor,” said Shane Schapiro, the union’s president. He said officers are overworked and unable to take time off. “Officers were told that they could be there up to a year doing all this gun paperwork that the state police is so behind on.”
Maryland State Police consult 16 databases to complete a gun background check, a standard tougher than federal law. While Maryland prohibits people without a collector’s license from purchasing more than one gun per month, there is not a prohibition on applying to buy more than that, said Shipley, the state police spokesman.
About 420,500 people own regulated firearms in Maryland, according to the state’s last count in March, Shipley said.