By JEFF NEWMAN
Law enforcement agencies across the state will accept unwanted firearms Saturday as part of a statewide gun turn-in event, but local residents will have to travel outside of Charles County to participate.
Those wishing to voluntarily turn in any type of firearm — including handguns, rifles and shotguns — for safe disposal will be able to do so “no questions asked” at Maryland State Police barracks, sheriff’s offices and local police departments in 20 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions, according to a news release from Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), who first announced the initiative in February.
Charles County is among the four counties without a turn-in location, but local residents may turn in firearms at any participating law enforcement agency, including the Maryland State Police barracks at 210 Main St. in Prince Frederick, 23200 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown, 10100 Rhode Island Ave. in College Park and 3500 Forestville Road in Forestville.
A Maryland State Police spokesperson said it made available the barracks requested by Gansler’s office. The Maryland Sheriffs’ Association determined the program should be overseen by MSP, Charles County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said.
A list of participating agencies can be found online at www.oag.state.md.us/gun_turn_in.html.
“Any Marylander who has a gun that is no longer wanted will be able get rid of it safely, no questions asked,” Gansler said in the release. “Our goal is to provide a simple means for families to make their homes and communities safer. I want to thank the Maryland State Police and the many county and local law enforcement agencies for their hard work building safer communities throughout Maryland and making this statewide public safety event possible.”
Firearms do not need to be in working order to be turned in, but owners should make sure their guns are unloaded prior to taking them to the turn-in location. Once there, gun owners should follow any instructions given to them by law enforcement officers present.
Advance appointments are not necessary, and anyone wishing to turn in a firearm will not need to show identification. Once surrendered, the gun may be checked using law enforcement databases to determine whether it has been reported stolen or as having been used in a crime.
The Maryland General Assembly passed gun control legislation April 4 proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) that bans 45 types of semiautomatic “assault” rifles, limits magazines to 10 rounds and requires those wishing to purchase a firearm other than a hunting rifle or shotgun to first obtain a license.