The state judiciary committee is set to hear legislation that would require more stringent background checks for potential gun buyers. The Tuesday hearing will be the first public vetting of a bill introduced by State Delegate John Cardin aimed at closing loopholes in the state's new gun laws.
The bill would require that an individual's background check is completed prior to the sale, transfer or lease of a handgun regardless of how long the background check takes. Under the current law, gun dealers may legally release guns to buyers after 8 days whether a background check has been completed or not.
According to Cardin the loophole has allowed more than 200 guns to be released since last year to individuals who are barred from gun ownership. Though background checks usually take less than 7 days, a rise in handgun sales over the last year created a backlog of background checks extending up to six months.