· Under Scrutiny
Amid the hot debate over gun laws, the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reveals the steep challenge of reducing the supply of guns often used in crimes. The problem: laws vary state to state.
It wasn't known at the time, but it turns out that a .40-caliber Glock handgun recovered during a traffic stop by Maryland State Police in Anne Arundel County in 2015 was part of a much larger conspiracy to funnel guns from one state to another.
"The firearm came back to a person who purchased it in the state of Georgia," Maryland State Police Sgt. Frank Lopez said.
An unusual pattern? Not at all.More often than not, guns seized by police in criminal investigations are coming from someplace other than Maryland.
"I would say approximately 60 percent statewide of firearms that are seized by Maryland law enforcement are not Maryland guns, that goes up exponentially in places like Baltimore City and Prince George's County," Lopez said.
Notice no hard numbers. I passed this article along to Miguel.....Maryland has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Buyers are required to wait seven days after purchase to actually take possession of a handgun. There is no instant background check, and buyers are limited to one purchase per month.Laws are far more lax in states to the south and west.
In West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, background checks are instant, and there is no waiting period and no limit on how many guns you can purchase at once.
The disparity between gun laws state by state complicates the effort to reduce gun violence, currently an urgent priority in Baltimore.
The ATF Firearms Trace 2015 for Maryland (No traces for 2016 available) shows a total of 8,139 guns recovered and â€œtracedâ€ but the term traced seems to include even when no result for origin was found. ATF tells us that only 5,498 guns were linked to a state. So Maryland State Police Sgt. Frank Lopez might not be â€œaccurateâ€ (cough) in his statement. Now, let us peruse once again the ATF Trace Data for Maryland to see what we getâ€¦.Surprise! (Not surprise)