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GUN LAW BACKFIRES: Backlog allowed felons, fugitives to buy firearms

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(Fox News) -- More than 360 guns were bought in Maryland last year by people barred from owning them because of a massive backlog in conducting gun transaction background checks, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The newspaper said last week that undercover troopers recovered nearly all of the 364 firearms sold to people who were ineligible to buy them, but four guns have not been retrieved.

"To us, the danger has not passed," state police spokesman Greg Shipley told the newspaper.

People with histories of mental illness or convictions for violent misdemeanors, felons and fugitives were able to obtain and keep guns for three months or longer before state police reviewed the sales, The Sun said, citing records obtained under a Public Information Act request.

Would-be gun buyers in the state must pass a background check conducted by Maryland State Police. But a gun can still be sold without a background check if state troopers are unable to complete it within seven days and the dealer has no reason to believe the person purchasing the weapon is ineligible.

Over the course of last year, dealers released 51,812 guns before a background check was completed, The Sun said.

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