Duffy's Guns (courtesy duffyguns.com)

[NOTE: Post edited to remove alcohol fatigue-induced inattention to detail and inaccurate factual assumptions.] “It’s unfortunate that hundreds of guns purchased in the weeks before Maryland’s stricter firearms regulations went into effect last year ended up in the hands of people who should never have been allowed to own them,” baltimoresun.com opines. Wait. What? Is the Sun saying that the Free State’s statists should have prevented a significant percentage of Marylanders from exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms in the run-up to Maryland’s post-Newtown civilian disarmament regulations? Yup. Whyzzat? Start with this . . .

A Sun investigative report Sunday by Timothy B. Wheeler and Erin Cox highlighted the consumer fears that spurred record firearms sales last year and the flood of background check requests that created a huge bottleneck in the processing of permit applications. The backlog of cases peaked at 60,000 in October, which would have required some buyers to wait months for their checks to be completed. With police stymied by the sheer volume of applications, some dealers began distributing firearms to customers after waiting only seven days, the minimum required under state law. Eventually, more than 50,000 guns were released to customers before background checks on them were completed, including to some people who were legally barred from owning them.

So how many of these buyers missed the federal filtration system (as administered by the po-po? “Dealers and individual sellers released at least 220 guns to 213 people who ultimately failed background checks,” perfectly trustworthy state police spokesman Gregory Shipley told the Sun’s crack [smoking] investigative unit. And how many of them went on to do bad, bad things? One!

One gun was sold to a man later accused of using it in a carjacking in Prince George’s County, police acknowledged in response to queries from The Baltimore Sun . . .

The victim in the carjacking Oct. 9 in Lanham was unhurt, a Prince George’s County police spokeswoman said. The next day, police arrested Davion Lavonta Ballinger of Upper Marlboro, who they said was 21, and charged him in the incident. Police recovered a pistol that state police spokesman Gregory Shipley said had been released by the seller before the agency could carry out a background check that would have revealed that the recipient was legally disqualified from owning a gun.

Apparently, the courts convicted Mr. Ballinger of an armed robbery back in 2009. The Sun extrapolates the anecdote to conclude that the “hysteria” (their word) that created the bottleneck was a danger to public safety caused by . . .  wait for it . . . the gun lobby!

Now the gun lobby wants to blame state officials for the mess its dire predictions of curtailed Second Amendment rights created — and to use it as an excuse to further water down Maryland’s gun laws. But the state acted responsibly in this case. During the worst of the run on gun shops, the state police department moved quickly, assigning extra officers to whittle down the backlog of background checks and even enlisting personnel from other state agencies to help with the paperwork. It has also subsequently employed new technology to streamline the process.

And now, the money shot:

By contrast, some gun store owners acted irresponsibly when they released firearms without waiting for the checks. The fact that they were legally entitled to doesn’t make what they did right. And the suggestion that their customers should be presumed to have a right to gun ownership unless proven otherwise is absurd. By the same logic people wouldn’t have to earn a drivers license unless it was proven they were incompetent behind the wheel.

I know: you’re getting fed-up with the right to keep and bear arms being compared to the privilege to drive an automobile on public roads. But what other arrow of outrageous logic do they have in their self-righteous rhetorical quiver, after waving the carjacked bloody shirt? Why the reasonable, common sense card!

Given Congress’ inability to enact rational gun policy, Maryland is right to go its own way. In doing so, the state has sought a balance between public safety and the rights of gun owners. It’s a shame that not all gun dealers have acted with similar concern.

It’s an even greater shame that Americans have to live in a state where their gun rights are treated with such obvious, unjustifiable contempt. You might even say it’s absurd.

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104 Responses to Baltimore Sun: Right to Keep and Bear Arms is “Absurd”

    • I always laugh when I go back and occasionally run across the “Baltimore: The city that reads!” benches…

      It’s just way to easy to blurt out “Baltimore: the city that BLEEDS!” as you pass them by.

      • As someone who was born in the suburbs of Baltimore, the joke we used to say was ‘The City that Breeds’. It has (or had at the time) one of the highest levels of teen pregnancy in the country.

        • as JR said “have done 20 years ago”…not just Denver, but small insignificant towns…in ’88 I saw one from San Francisco (i had been a CA resident previously)-he was complaining that SF wasn’t as “free” as you might think it was and as a gay man he saw better opportunity in CO….and you know there were 1000 more of him bringing up the rear. Actually what I think he experienced is what Camille Paglia (a lesbian feminist radical from back in the day) said on the Laura Ingraham show recently….that she found more “acceptance and love” in her religious Mormon community than she did in her radical left and LGBT community….

        • I can’t understand what goes on inside the heads of people who claim to be escaping from the sewer, but want to turn around and shit all over their new home.

  1. They should put in a waiting period and licensing scheme on new paper editorial comments.

    The government can tell them who is qualified to print stories and who is. Hey it can even forbid people from printing stories if they ever screw up and make an error or knowingly print something less than factual using their free speech.

    I mean hell why stop with trampling the 2nd amendment. Let’s take down the 1st too since it seems all to many members of the media fail to grasp that limitations on one set of rights can easily apply to another set of rights.

    • That’s because guns were made specifically to cause harm. Newspapers, on the other hand, exist only to spread propaganda and lies–I mean, uh…. oh darn.

  2. Even in gun-control happy Connecticut, you can buy a firearm and walk out of the store with it within 15 minutes (after going through the NICS). Why this isn’t good enough for Maryland is beyond me.

    • You can do that with shotguns and rifles. Just not handguns or regulated long guns.

      But they banned all the regulated long guns as of Oct. 1.

    • Well, not so much anymore. The new law requires a long gun eligibility certificate to purchase rifles or shotguns, so you have to jump through that hoop (and pay for it).

      • Is that as bad as our HQL? $150 for fingerprinting, training, and state fees.

        Plus another $10 every time you buy a handgun.

        • Funny, my wife bought her first handgun from duffy’s specifically to make sure she wouldn’t have to go through training (already owning 6 handguns I was good to go.)
          Both of us being blind, we didn’t want to deal with the likely result of trying to pass “training.”
          I’m done with handguns in MD. I’m not getting their HQL unless things change drasticly.

  3. Have they ever walked around the Dundalk neighborhood of Baltimore at night?

    My guess is no, because no one who has wouldn’t believe in the right to bear arms.

    • I had a epiphany while driving in Maryland over the holidays – everyone was carefully doing the speed limit, or just under it.

      These people have whipped into utter submission and lock-step by the government in Maryland.

      Don’t believe it? Go to Columbia, MD. It’s a suburb between DC and Baltimore (I grew up right next to it) and its a vast dreamscape of the same colonial-style rowhouses, big box stores, and a lack of critical thinking with regards to government.

  4. I am sick of states being allowed to infringe on a Constitutionally protected right. Why is it that this one Amendment seems to be immune from the Supremecy Clause?

  5. Everything about the state of Maryland is onerous and corrupt. I get my car worked on in MD sometimes and they always joke that I won’t have to worry about getting it inspected.

    The Freemasons of Maryland advertise on the radio for people to join them. Cal Ripken’s mom has been kidnapped from her home in Aberdeen, presumably for ransom, at least twice. They call that place an “All America City.” I think it is because you can get your creepy banjo and loud hip hop at the same time.

    • Most mainstream media is like this. Ignore facts, keep them from the readers to advance their own liberal agenda. Somewhere old Soviets are looking at our current American media and saying “damn, we ran our media and could not get coverage this favorable to the party agenda”. Frankly, all these media outlets can’t fail fast enough.

  6. Hows abouth this.
    The Baltimore Sun is adiquated old tecknowlogy that should be banned from being able to publish daily.
    Or even moreso the State of Maryland should be a sattalie of the former Communist Empire of the old Solviet Union for publishing propagander…
    hymmm wheres my speil cuqke on this komputer??

  7. Human beings choosing to voluntarily live as sheeple and subservient to others is absurd yet apparently a pathetic human trait based on history of the elites controlling the masses.

    • I was thinking the same thing; from history, most people seem to prefer a dictatorship and themselves as peasants, peons and slaves; until it becomes too abusive; then they revolt, usually replacing the old dictatorship with a worse one.

      Whether our country can become truly free, treating all people as equals and still not devolve into tyranny, (which those tyrannical forces are feverishly at work led by the Liberal/progressives/ republicans), well, we will see.

  8. Quote – “The fact that they were legally entitled to doesn’t make what they did right. And the suggestion that their customers should be presumed to have a right to gun ownership unless proven otherwise is absurd.”

    This must be right out of the gun grabbers secret playbook. These 2 statements explain EVERYTHING.

    • I can just hear Piers Morgan saying “Absurd!”

      Which is progressive erudite shorthand for, “Since I’m obviously right but can provide no logical argument, your argument is necessarily absurd.”

  9. Not mentioned in the article is the fact that the State Police, which is said to have acted “responsibly,” was VIOLATING MARYLAND LAW by taking over 100 days to do a background check that the law REQUIRES the police to do in 7 days. Thus, the article blames the gun shops that fully complied with the law for the issues created by the Maryland State Police breaking the law… priceless.

  10. “Apparently, the courts convicted Mr. Ballinger of an armed robbery back in 2009. Why was this [I’m thinking] felony not reported to the FBI’s NICS database? Again, the Sun doesn’t go there. It simply extrapolates the anecdote to conclude that the “hysteria” (their word) that created the bottleneck was a danger to public safety caused by . . . wait for it . . . the gun lobby!”

    Well, let’s go there. If this guy was 21 when he committed his recent crime in late 2013, that means he was, gast, 17 or so when he was convicted of armed robbery. This also means he was a juvenile and given the liberal bend of Maryland, he probably got his record sealed or he got put into some diversionary program and the people in the courts screwed up by not reporting this. There is the crime. A bloated bureacracy that cannot even perform routine safety tasks despite high taxes.

    • Typical Alynski: Create a problem, blame the problem on someone else and demand that freedoms be abolished to “solve” the problem you originally created

  11. Being a MD resident and gun owner who just went through that prelaw buying frenzy. I can shed some light on this. The wait time for the MD back round check (BRC) got as high as 5 months. I stopped checking, but I bet people are still waiting for BRC to come back for purchases prior to 10/1, the date the law took affect. As for the NICS check, they were not done at the point of purchase. They are done when the state police gets around to doing the MD BRC. When they initiated this enhanced BRC in MD, the state police was made the designated POC for NICS checks by the ATF for regulated weapons(handguns and scary black guns). So with the back log of BRCs, it was proposed to let the local gun shop run the NICS check and then let the firearm go after the require 7 days “cooling off” period. Regardless of whether the MD BRC came back. The state police refused. So some local gun shops started releasing guns after the 7 days, to the consternation of the Sun paper and local gun control Nazis. Oh and one other thing, the state police would not officially say that it was legal to release guns after 7 days, they had to be taken to court to come out with a mealy mouthed admission that it was legal.

    • You are correct. Here in MD, FFL’s are not allowed to run the NICS check on a purchase of a regulated firearm (handguns and most rifles). Only the almighty Maryland State Police can do this. I am one of the lucky ones in that I only had to wait 3 months for my background checks to come back. If I’d been in a free (haha) state, the check would’ve been completed in 3 minutes. Friends of mine waited even longer than 5 months for theirs to come back.

      I would not be surprised to see MD go full retard in this next General Assembly. Time to look at property in VA.

    • I was just going to post a similar comment. TTAG needs to do some better checking before posting articles like this. The Baltimore Sun was correct when they claimed that no background check was being performed prior to sales. I bought and took delivery of 4 regulated firearms before the new laws took effect – released after 7 days with no state or federal background check being completed.

      • Yes luckily, I was dealing with a FFL who was following the law and released after 7 days. A lot of people I know chose their FFL poorly and waited months to pick up their firearms.

      • Some FFLs were performing NICSs checks just running them as rifles, which they are allowed to do. They were doing this as a precaution. MSP put an end to it. This “problem” is 100% the fault of MSP an the lawmakers.

    • All of this. Also, on the state police form, you are either DENIED or NOT DENIED. There’s no approved, just “no we’re not going to deny you from exercising your right.”

      And that’s why I moved to Virginia.

  12. It’s absurd that people can freely practice their religion when we all know that _____ is the best one.

    It’s absurd that police can’t just search anybody, anytime, for whatever reason. I mean, look how many criminals probably get away with their crimes.

    It’s absurd that the Baltimore Sun isn’t censored by the government and told what to print. Now people can say whatever they want.

    It’s absurd that the State has the burden of proof in criminal cases.

    It’s absurd that people have a right to assemble and form groups like the NRA….or the NAACP, or ACLU, or Greenpeace, or…

    • “It’s absurd that the Baltimore Sun isn’t censored by the government and told what to print. Now people can say whatever they want.”

      This is how you know we’re screwed in the long run. Most of the media self-censors their stories if it goes against their core Progressive beliefs or is critical of “their guys” in politics. The fact the the AP & Foxews scandal isn’t still front page-worthy news is all the proof you need that most in the media are okay with censorship as long as it’s “their guy” doing it for the children “greater good”.

  13. HEY!!! Wake the f*** up gun grabbers!! WE are the gun lobby. Tens of millions of FREE Americans who own guns. NOT the manufacturers. NOT the NRA. It is US. THE PEOPLE. Free-thinking, freedom-loving people who reject the premise that government is the solution to most domestic problems.

    We are not pawns in some gun-industry-driven chess match. We do not need the NRA to whip us into a frenzy. Nothing more is needed besides simply living where we live, seeing the abuses of those with power, and having family and friends who have been the victims of violence.

    It is time for you to get a freaking grip and recognize that it is we THE PEOPLE who are your enemies, and we deserve the credit for throwing the wrench into your statist, progressive machine.

    • If the People would sober up and realize the plain language and power of the Constitution, all of this nonsense would cease and the infringement nightmare would be over. Unfortunately, too many of those who declare their support for the Constitution add that cringe-worthy qualifier, “but…

      The Bill of Rights means exactly what is written. Anything less is a breach of contract by government and eventually leads to tyranny. How this basic and inevitable fact slips by so many Americans is truly beyond me. IMHO, Americans are too lazy and cowardly to be free.

      Ultimately, the People have been bringing it upon themselves. Any of you who smugly believe that you can interpret the Second Amendment better than as it was plainly written at the foundation of our great nation; YOU are the biggest problem. The destruction of our liberties lie greatly upon your shoulders. Think. Understand. Change before our nation is lost. YOU are killing freedom. YOU are strengthening existing chains of our bondage and forging new ones for generations to come. Why can’t you see it?

      (“You” is not directed at 505markf or anyone specifically. This is a call to all of those who believe in appeasement and “reasonable” restrictions upon constitutionally protected rights.)

    • If enough real Americans really did care enough, then the POtuS in the WH wouldn’t have been voted in by his moochers and enablers. Too many stupid people would rather not vote, than pick the lesser of two evils.

      • Maybe that is why they choose not to vote. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Let’s see we get Obama going full bore for gun control, socialist medicine and the NDAA or we get Busch and the patriot act and TSA. I see no difference

      • By definition, the “lesser of two evils” is still evil. I do not vote for evil. To vote for “the lesser of two evils” is morally repugnant.

        PERIOD.

        • St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, checking his Permanent Record: “Hmmmm.. Says here you voted for evil on [date]. ‘Bye!”
          <trap door opens>
          Voter’s Immortal Soul: AAAIIIIEIEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee…………”

  14. What articles like this tell me is that, while there is still a huge threat to our right to keep and bear arms, our right to freedom of movement is under serious attack. Thinking driving a privilege is similar to thinking that owning a firearm (or any deadly weapon) is a privilege in that it’s wrong.

    Robert, keep of the good fight for our 2nd amendment rights, but how about not doing a disservice to our other (lesser fought for) rights as well.

    • Travel is a basic human right. Driving is a privilege. You can say it isn’t all you want, but it won’t make it so.

  15. “And the suggestion that their customers should be presumed to have a right to gun ownership unless proven otherwise is absurd. By the same logic people wouldn’t have to earn a drivers license unless it was proven they were incompetent behind the wheel.”

    Sounds like “guilty until proven innocent”. Actually we do have a right to gun ownership unless proven otherwise, that’s exactly how it works. Anyone can own a gun unless they have some reason to be a prohibited individual. As for the driver’s license, “earning” one isn’t all that hard, you just need a pulse, but they are revoked every day as people prove they are incompetent behind the wheel, so again that’s exactly how it works.

  16. Boy oh boy… if there is a piece of propaganda out there that felates the state (all while eagerly swallowing) better than this one, I have yet to read it.

  17. Baltimore has recently fallen out of the “top five cities you’re most likely to get murdered in.” I guess they want to regain this bit of civic pride.

  18. “The paper singularly, spectacularly fails to point out that all of these sales were subject to the mandatory federal FBI background check.”

    Fact check: this is incorrect. Those guns were handed out without a NICS check, because the dealers couldn’t call one in – the MSP is the POC for handguns and regulated long arms (ie, “assault rifles”). Your entire article is based on this incorrect premise, and is thus nonsensical. Please take it down and rewrite it.

    • Well the sales should have been subject to that NICS check, but the State Police hold the keys to that, and they don’t play well with others.

  19. Yes, there’s some real irony to Robert calling out the Sun for being wrong when his entire premise is false – those guns were indeed handed out without NICS checks.

    • Huh? They complied with state law…. which was deliberately set up to interfere with a Constitutional Right…. and has back-fired brilliantly. There is no ‘irony’, merely Authoritarian Clusterfuckedness of the First Order.

    • @overeducated eco: They are wrong. Their trickery and tyranny backfired. The should have stuck the NICS protocol instead of going Fidel Castro.

  20. So they pass a law they were ill equipped to handle. Then when law abiding citizens rush on getting in under the deadline they complain about it? Really?
    Go ahead continue complaining about the gun lobby. Go ahead. It wasn’t the gun lobby that passed the law to begin with!
    The fact is the dealers followed the law. The new super cool disarmament laws didn’t change the dealers requirements, so who’s fault is that?
    Elections have consequences folks..

  21. By this guy’s logic, allowing the Baltimore Sun to print this trash means the First Amendment is absurd.

    I’m stunned by journalists who don’t realize their First Amendment rights are protected by the Second.

    Morons…..all of them.

    -ted

  22. “By the same logic people wouldn’t have to earn a drivers license unless it was proven they were incompetent behind the wheel.”

    By that same logic, every single person who wants to publish an opinion should have to earn that right, too.

    Let that sink in. The gun-hating bigots on the Left want us to EARN any human rights they don’t personally exercise.

    Thus, we are buying more guns and stocking up on ammo — in case they ever leave us no choice but to show them the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment.

  23. Blah blah blah, opinion, blah blah blah- whining-blah blah blah -dig- blah blah blah – I hate guns cause they are evil and so are the people who own them-blah blah blah- the gun lobby-blah blah blah- common sense- blah blah blah- 2nd Amendment outdated-blah blah blah-unbiased anti reporting- blah blah blah- Why do you need-blah blah blah- I’m a communist you should be too or you hate children and puppies-bla blah blah- I’m not listening to facts cause they confuse me and you are wrong-blah blah blah-I’m going to my room now and locking the door and turning up the music and I hate you!

  24. Most people don’t remember this but there was another newspaper called The News American. That was Republican paper. Well, in about 1970 The Sun burned them out. Now, not sure but I think News American went to Western MD to become The Hearld Mail.

  25. No, what’s absurd is the fact that they are exercising their first amendment right to demand the removal of the “absurd” second amendment.

    These @ssholes really are pathetic.

  26. The Baltimore Sun isn’t good for anything other than starting a fire.

    I was born in Maryland and lived there for a few decades before moving out. While I still visit fairly often for personal reasons, I will never live there again. The anti-gun bigotry is way too strong there. It’s also not just with the guns … the mentality of too many people there is just flat-out warped.

    All of that, combined with ever-rising taxes, massive corruption, and utter disrespect for the idea that anyone should be allowed to make choices for themselves, makes Maryland a bad place to live. The only reason its idiotic government hasn’t turned it into Detroit is that there is such a strong federal presence in the state, so they suck in dollars from elsewhere to feed the economy. So much of Maryland’s economy is directly or indirectly related to the federal government (both military and civilian employees, government contractors, and other businesses that rely on those employees as their customers).

    There are good folks in Maryland fighting for gun rights, but they are woefully outnumbered. Some folks in the western counties in Maryland want to secede and form a new state, it’s so bad. I think there’s a similar sentiment on the eastern shore. They’d be better off.

    • There is nothing really to prevent western Maryland and the Eastern Shore’s ten counties from forming a new, non-contiguous state. It may look a little like the Caucasus, but so what?

  27. 1) I know that gun store in the picture. That used to be my store when I was in college. Duffy’s. North of Baltimore out in the stocks in a very nice area full of mansions of the Baltimore elite. They always had cool guns, lots of freedom rifles, and lots of surplus ammo. Always stocked.

    2) I am the gentleman who sold Davion Ballinger his gun. I used to work at the gun store which shall remain nameless. I remember doing his paperwork for his gun. Ironic considering the store I worked at waited until the last minute to start doing early releases. They also waited until the paperwork came back to prevent this from happening.

  28. I am a former MD resident and left MD for TX after waiting six weeks for a seven day background check. After that I moved my family and said goodbye to MD. Don’t worry TX, I won’t be bringing any MD liberal views – just a simple conservative.

  29. I find it ironic that the paper praises the police for stepping up staffing when one of the things they got taken to court over was not background checking the employees given access to firearm applications. Also they ran a completely open, as in unsecured and unmonitored data base of applications full of all of our information.
    Also, the reason most of us panicked was because the Maryland AG said that after October first, regardless of when the application was put in, the new laws would likely be enforced for all handguns retroactively…meaning we’d all need to get training and a HQL if the gun wasn’t already released. The place where I shoot, not buy, wouldn’t release their guns without an approval from the state and ended up canceling most of their pending applications or transferring the guns to other stores who would release them after 7 days.
    Outside of the rhetoric, this article is also hugely misleading…not surprisingly.

  30. What is absurd is The Baltimore Sun hiding behind the 1st Amendment to advance the agenda of tyranny by supporting the Gun Ban Lobby.

  31. well in the wonderful liberal bastion of Oregon I had to submit to a background check to buy a shotgun as well as handguns. oh yes we in Oregon can get Concealed Handgun Licences if you pass the county sheriff requirments so not anybody can buy a firearm. So again the libs are full of crap because a lot of states and the federal government do have laws and requirements on firearms ownership but no uniformity on the laws.

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