MARYLAND

Maryland gun purchase applications on the rise ahead of new law

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gun purchase applications in Maryland are up ahead of the start of a gun control measure that gives Maryland some of the nation's tightest gun laws.

The Washington Times reports state police received 85,141 gun-purchase applications this year through Aug. 31. That's compared with 70,099 applications in all of 2012 and 46,339 applications in 2011. Gun dealers say they have been overwhelmed ahead of the law's Oct. 1 effective date.

Maryland State Police, meanwhile, have increased staffing to cope. In August 2012, 38 employees were assigned to conduct background checks, but this year 73 employees are doing that work according to Sgt. Marc Black. Black said 60 temporary staffers are also rotating hours.

So far, officials have processed 46,942 of this year's applications.

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