As directed by Governor Martin O’Malley (D), the Maryland State Police (MSP) released confidential firearms purchase application information to employees of four other state agencies in a misguided attempt to move forward in clearing the backlog of unprocessed 77R applications this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, state employees from the Departments of Human Resources, Health and Mental Hygiene, Transportation and Juvenile Services were given compensatory time off in exchange for entering confidential personal information including name, birth date and, in some cases, social security numbers of potential gun owners in Maryland into a database in an effort to expedite completion of background checks on applicants.
According to the statement released by the MSP on Saturday evening, these employees were asked to sign confidentiality agreements. However, this is hardly reassuring to the persons whose private information was released without their consent. The employees of the MSP licensing division, who typically complete background checks pursuant to a 77R application, undergo extensive background checks prior to hiring, sometimes even rising to the level of polygraph examinations. There is no reason to believe that any of the employees tasked with this database entry action were subject to the same level of scrutiny before being handed the private, personally identifying information of thousands of law-abiding Maryland citizens.
The NRA-ILA will continue to monitor and report on the MSP’s actions in this case and the firearms purchase backlog in Maryland as it continues to delay your Second Amendment rights, including your inherent right to self-defense.