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Anti-gun Maryland Democrats set out to prove a right delayed is a right denied

A human right that Delegate Cardin would like to delay--permanently
Photo © Oleg Volk. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Maryland State Delegate Jon Cardin (D) has apparently decided he cannot tolerate the fact that prospective gun buyers in his state can only be forced to endure a delay of a week when buying a gun. That limitation is a function of the fact that under current Maryland gun law, if the background check--which in Maryland is conducted by the state, rather than through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)--has after seven days still not decided whether or not the would-be buyer is eligible, the sale (or rental, or other type of transfer) may proceed, even without the check completed.

One might think that seven days is plenty of time to figure out if a prospective buyer is a felon, a lunatic, a domestic violence offender, etc., but the state police cannot come even close to keeping up with the number of checks required. This was especially the case last year when residents scrambled to buy newly designated "assault weapons" before they were banned, putting the police behind by scores of thousands of guns, and by over a month. As a result, many thousands of guns were sold with no such check completed.

Faithfully following the gun ban zealot's script of referring to any way of acquiring guns as a "loophole," Del. Cardin has vowed to close this "8th day loophole." From Cardin's press release:

"This loophole has been around for many years, and the fact that almost no one is talking about it is alarming," Cardin said. "It presents a grave danger to Maryland families. Until this loophole is closed, we will continue to see ineligible individuals obtain handguns. Unfortunately, that puts us all in danger while giving rightful gun owners a bad reputation."

So he introduced Maryland HB 42, which stipulates that until the background check is completed, the transfer cannot proceed--no matter how long it takes. Cardin continues:

This bill should not be viewed as a further restriction on the right to own a handgun. Rather, it should be seen as a concerted effort to ensure that guns are not sold to dangerous people who are legally not permitted to own them."

Yep--legislation to remove any limit on how long a gun purchase can be delayed "should not be viewed as a further restriction on the right to own a handgun." Actually, the text seems to apply the restriction to rifles and shotguns, too, rather than only handguns, but that's hardly the biggest problem with what Cardin is pushing.

Making Cardin's bill even more ridiculous is the fact that a competing bill, introduced by Delegate Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R), would go a long way toward solving the "problem" of guns sold with incomplete background checks, by allowing gun dealers to tap into the federal NICS system, if the Maryland system is taking too long--the assumption (usually safe) being that the federal system is not likely to get nearly so far behind. Hardly a panacea to those of us who believe that mandated background checks should be abolished, because, "Anyone who can't be trusted with a gun cannot be trusted without a custodian," it would at least be vastly better than Cardin's "solution."

Dr. Martin Luther King once famously stated that a "right delayed is a right denied." Typically, advocates of "gun control" try to dispute that obvious truism. Cardin, on the other hand, appears bent on proving it.

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