Thursday, September 12, 2013


On September 9, 2013, at approximately 2 a.m. Ocean City police conducted a traffic stop in the area of 85th Street and Coastal Highway after noticing a vehicle swerving in and out of the traffic lanes on northbound Coastal Highway. As the officer approached the vehicle, the officer noticed the smell of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located six packages of heroin and numerous drug paraphernalia items, including items typically used for packaging and distributing drugs. Officers also located approximately 10 assorted perscription pills. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Hannah Knoll Norris, 24, of Fairfax, VA, and the passenger was identified as Scott Edward Kahler, 25, of Falls Church, VA.

Both Norris and Kahler were charged by Ocean City police with possession of heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, removing the label on a perscription drug, transporting heroin into Maryland, and six counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Norris and Kahler were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and transferred to Worcester County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Ocean City Police Dept.

Fall Car and Truck Show

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Craig: O'Malley, Brown, Gansler must protect gun owner's privacy

For immediate release: 9.11.13
Contact: Jim Pettit

Candidate for Maryland Governor and Harford County Executive David R. Craig said using up to 200 front line employees at several state agencies to process record numbers of firearm purchase applications is the wrong approach that invites errors and security breaches.   
Craig called on the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General to develop a plan that protects sensitive information and uses sworn police officers to process a backlog of the forms required for background checks. The paperwork glut is an unanticipated consequence of some of the nation's most restrictive gun laws taking effect in Maryland next month. The additional agencies have no experience processing information on a specialized form that requires social security numbers among other sensitive information.

"Numerous state agencies with no experience in this will be tripping over themselves pretending to mop up the mess created by this ill-conceived legislation," said Craig. "Moreover, in a state with the most entrenched political monopoly in the nation, there is absolutely no incentive to do the job right, because their ultimate objective has already been accomplished which is to seek media attention and exploit tragedies."

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, Governor Martin O'Malley introduced and signed into law this year Senate Bill 281, which bans certain weapons for sale, limits magazine rounds and requires fingerprints among other restrictions.  Fearing continued erosion of their second amendment rights, buyers rushed to purchase firearms.  Weekly firearm purchase applications are now running over 2400 per week, a three-fold increase over that seen in recent years. The unprocessed backlog is nearly 40,000 according to the most recent Maryland State Police data.   Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler, both gubernatorial candidates, endorsed the legislation and support the use of inexperienced state government workers to process the paperwork.

"The people who are now entrusted with the sensitive task of processing background check information  work at agencies that enable identity theft according to the state's own auditors.  Even more troubling, one of these agencies encouraged criminal activity among prison inmates," said Craig, referring to the infamous case in which correction officers enabled a criminal gang to commandeer the state-owned Baltimore City Detention Center.  "The agency whose operational personnel are charged with abetting criminal activity is now privy to sensitive information on tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens."

Employees at the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene,Transportation, Public Safety and Correctional Services, Human Resources and Juvenile Services will be assigned to the new gun processing application detail. O'Malley successfully sought a $4 million supplemental appropriation to process the paperwork avalanche.

"Marylanders have grown accustomed to the bungling of basic government functions in the O'Malley-Brown Administration," said Lt. Governor candidate and state delegate Jeannie Haddaway.  "At the very least the attorney general, who claims to be in charge of consumer protection, should insist that basic security protocols are established."


Background: Maryland State Police paperwork backlog

Background: Maryland comprises gun owners' privacy

Background: Maryland state agencies documented IT security failures

Paradise on the Pocomoke Gala ~ Fundraiser


Arrest Made ~ Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography

Jason Gregory Root
CRIME: Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography

 On Monday, September 9, 2013, members of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office executed a search and seizure warrant at an address on Worcester Highway, Newark, Maryland.

The search warrant was the result of several months of prior investigation which revealed that someone inside of the residence was sharing and downloading pictures and videos of Child Pornography.

Once inside of the residence, numerous items were located and found to contain hundreds of images and videos of Child Pornography. An interview of the residents revealed that Jason Gregory Root was responsible sharing and downloading the images.

Jason Root was placed under arrest and charged with 6 counts of Promoting and Distributing Child Pornography and 5 counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

Jason Root was taken before the District Court Commissioner and subsequently released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Worcester County Sheriff's Office

'2 Million Bikers' Snaking Toward D.C. Can Parade Without Paperwork

Rolling Thunder Bikers / May 26, 2013
By Steven Nelson
The nation's capital has relatively relaxed rules concerning the exercise of First Amendment rights. Because of this, the "2 million bikers" en route to commemorate the victims of 9/11 won't be bothered while snarling city traffic Wednesday.
"It is not a crime to parade" through the city without a permit, Ted Gest, a spokesman for the D.C. attorney general's office, told U.S. News. That office prosecutes violations of D.C. law.
But, Gest cautioned, "I don't think we can speculate on what penalties the motorcycle riders might be subjected to for traffic or other offenses because we don't know what they're going to do."
The "2 Million Bikers to D.C." demonstration was announced in August and its last-minute request for a National Park Service event permit was denied.
Organizers had sought the temporary closure of some city roads and intersections to allow an efficient inflow and outflow of riders from the National Mall area, but park service spokesperson Carol Johnson told The Blaze "it would cause a severe service disruption of traffic... We couldn't provide adequate park police services and park police escorts and it would require a lot of road closures so it was denied."
In a Friday post on Facebook, the organizers apologized to city residents for what will likely be gridlock as the patriotic bikers rev their engines in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and the U.S. soldiers who shipped off to fight al-Qaida in Afghanistan 12 years ago.

"What could have been a one or two hour ride through will now likely be an all day event," the organizers said. The plan is to meet up outside D.C. and cross into the city sometime after 11 a.m. The exact route isn't being made public, they said, because of "security purposes."

The Costen House Museum ~ Seventh Annual Art Show

The Costen House Museum in Pocomoke City 
 is seeking artists for its 
Seventh Annual Art Show

which will be held in the Delmarva Discovery Center 
 Saturday, October 19, 2013

10 am until 3 pm.

For the past seven years this show has brought talented local and regional artists together in a museum setting to exhibit their works. 

Proceeds from the show benefit the Costen House Museum and its garden. 

For more information and applications artists can contact Diane Kerbin at 410-957-4579.


 EFFECTIVE 10/01/2013 


This bill increases the penalties associated with violations of the seat belt and child safety seat laws from $25 to $50. The bill also removes the “floater exemption” that allowed a driver to transport more children in a vehicle than the number of proper securing locations. 

Finally, the bill expands the adult passenger (at least 16 years of age) seat belt requirement to “ALL POSITIONS” in the vehicle, but makes violation in a back seat a secondary violation, enforceable only when the driver is detained for a suspected violation of another provision of law. 


This bill makes the handheld use of cell phone by a driver enforceable as a “PRIMARY” offense, meaning that the police may stop an individual for these offenses without the driver committing any other offense. The bill also increases the maximum fines applicable to violations by drivers who are 18 years of age or older to $75 for a first violation, $125 for a second violation, and $175 for a third to subsequent violation. 

However, the bill prohibits imposition of points for violations by drivers who are 18 years of age or older unless the violation contributes to an accident.

Somerset County (MD) Sheriff's Office

9/11 ~ Day of Remembrance, Patriotism and Prayer

Governor Robert F. McDonnell

9/11 Day of Remembrance, Patriotism and Prayer

WHEREAS, the events of September 11, 2001 profoundly affected - and continue to affect - all aspects of our society, and the lives of Virginians, Americans and people across the world were changed forever following the destruction of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, the attack against the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the crash of Flight 93 in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania; and

WHEREAS, twelve years later the citizens of our Commonwealth and these United States continue to mourn for the more than three thousand innocent voices that were tragically silenced-including 184 in Virginia at the Pentagon-by terrorists on that infamous day of death and destruction; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that we never forget our shock and revulsion at the needless destruction, the bravery of our first responders who risked all for their neighbors, our anguish from the sudden loss of so many precious lives, or how we as a people did not succumb to a state of fear as the terrorists intended, but instead set aside our differences and united as patriots in our country's hour of need; and

WHEREAS, while we reflect upon the memory of the departed, it is important that we also pause to remember and honor the sacrifices of all those members of our armed forces who have given their lives in heroic service to our country and all members of our military who have volunteered to bring those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and their supporters to justice during the Global War on Terror; and

WHEREAS, prayer has long served as a measure of our nation's strong heritage of faith and has been an indispensable source of moral and spiritual guidance for citizens throughout our Commonwealth's history, and it is fitting that our Commonwealth reserve a day in which our citizens may reflect and mourn - consistent with their own faith traditions - with those who have suffered as a result of terrorism, to humbly ask God for the strength and fortitude necessary to protect our lives, liberty and property from future transgressions, and to give thanks for the freedoms with which we as a people are fortunate enough to be blessed;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize September 11, 2013 as a DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, PATRIOTISM AND PRAYER in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens; and

FURTHERMORE, I urge all citizens of our Commonwealth to display the flag of the United States of America wherever possible, and I invite all to witness a one-minute, statewide Moment of Silence starting at 9:39 AM - when American Airlines Flight 77 impacted with the Pentagon in our County of Arlington - and I encourage all Virginians to reflect upon the lives lost and heroic sacrifices made on that fateful eleventh day of September.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Legislative Updates By Delegate Mike McDermott

  • Firearm Application Form 77 & Breach of Privacy


September 10, 2013      

(Annapolis)--  On Monday, September 9th, Delegate Mike McDermott (R-Eastern Shore) delivered a letter to Governor Martin O’Malley urging him to stop the practice of information sharing between the Maryland State Police and other state agencies with regards to Firearms Application Form 77, the form filed by individuals seeking to purchase a regulated firearm.

Delegate McDermott spoke about the gravity of this information in a statement he released last Friday: “The Form 77 contains an incredible amount of identity information including: name, birth date, address, Social Security number, Drivers License number, and information relevant to the firearm being purchased. With so many issues surrounding identity theft and compromised personal information, citizens filling out these forms do so with the idea that the only people visiting and accessing the information are law enforcement personnel.” To see his full statement, click here. 

Seeking Artists for 7th Annual Costen House Museum Art Show at the Delmarva Discovery Center

Diane Kerbin 


Jennifer Rafter
Pocomoke Area Chamber of Commerce


Seeking Artists for 7th Annual Costen House Museum Art Show at the Delmarva Discovery Center 

The Costen House Museum in Pocomoke City is seeking artists for its Seventh Annual Art Show which will be held in the Delmarva Discovery Center on 
Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 10 am until 3 pm. For the past seven years this show has brought talented local and regional artists together in a museum setting to exhibit their works. Proceeds from the show benefit the Costen House Museum and its garden. For more information and applications artists can  contact Diane Kerbin at 410-957-4579.

David Craig on Tax Foundation Analysis of Maryland's Small Business Taxes

For release: 9.10.13
Contact: Jim Pettit

Governor candidate and Harford County Executive David R. Craig released the following statement regarding the Washington-based Tax Foundation's analysis of Maryland's small business taxes. 

"Maryland punishes small businesses. With marginal tax rates for sole proprietorships and S-corporations the 7th highest nationally and the highest among all neighboring states in the region, the O'Malley-Brown Administration can take credit for driving away small businesses.    Our state has lost small businesses at rates that are among the highest in the region under their term in office and high taxes are the reason."



Hunter Education Classes: Eastern Shore

Basic Hunter Education Class: Eastern Shore

September 19 & 20, 2013

All classes will run from 6:00PM until 9:30PM.
 Both nights must be attended.

E.S. Regional Fire Training Center
28598 Beacon Rd
Melfa, VA 23410


Class Size: Minimum 10, Maximum 35
*Pre-registration is required
*Pre course study is required. Course materials will be available at:
Chris Bait and Tackle
Eastern Shore Outfitters
Jaxsons Hardware

To Benefit the American Legion Post 93/ "Raise The Roof Benefit/Roast"


I can't wait for this!!! bw

Worcester County Humane Society 3rd Annual Raffle

The Saxis Island Museum Hours of Operation

The Saxis Island Museum opened its doors for the first time on Saturday, September 7, 2013.

Photo/ Linda Miles

Photo/ Linda Miles

For more information, go the the museum’s website, 

The museum also is on Facebook at

Directions: Turn west off Route 13 onto Saxis Road at Temperanceville and drive about 12 miles into the town of Saxis. The museum is located near the Saxis firehouse.

Worcester County Sheriff's Office ~ 2013 Bike Week

 From:  Worcester County Sheriff's Office
As this weekend approaches, we would like to remind you that the 2013 Bike Week activities will be held.

 On average, over 100,000 visitors will be in the Ocean City and Wicomico County areas. 

This year, Delmarva Bike Week will be held at locations in Wicomico County and Ocean City Bike Fest will be held in Ocean City. 

As we prepare for the large amount of motorcycle traffic, we would like to remind you to allow extra time this weekend when traveling on our roadways. Look twice for motorcycles and give them space as they travel. 

Deputies will be out during this weeks activities and will be coordinating with all the allied agencies to protect and prevent incidents that may occur. 

Our experience with the Bike Weeks in the past have found that 99% of the "bikers" are here to have fun and enjoy our area. We welcome them and hope that all return home safely when the weekend is over. The noise can be overwhelming for some, and the Sheriffs Office will be patrolling neighborhoods to keep the noise to a minimum. 

As always, should you require assistance from us, please contact the Sheriff's Office at 410-632-1111.

 We hope everyone enjoys this coming weekend.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Vice President Biden To Visit Port of Baltimore Today

Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Port of Baltimore today as part of a tour of East Coast ports seeking federal money to accommodate increased freight expected from the Panama Canal in coming years.

The White House said last week Biden would add Baltimore to an earlier announced line up of visits to the ports of Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C. Biden is scheduled later this month to visit Panama, where an expansion of the canal is expected to be completed in 2015.

Biden's trip was announced days after the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Baltimore a $10 million grant to build more access to rail, expand storage at Fairfield Marine Terminal, and help widen the channel at Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The federal money will be matched with a state grant of $19.5 million.

LADEE Spacecraft Runs Into Equipment Trouble

NASA Photo
By Marcia Dunn
The Associated Press

NASA's newest robotic explorer rocketed into space late Friday in an unprecedented moonshot from Virginia that dazzled sky watchers along the East Coast.

But the LADEE spacecraft quickly ran into equipment trouble, and while NASA assured everyone early Saturday that the lunar probe was safe and on a perfect track for the moon, officials acknowledged the problem needs to be resolved in the next two to three weeks.

S. Peter Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center in California, which developed the spacecraft, told reporters he's confident everything will be working properly in the next few days.

LADEE's reaction wheels were turned on to orient and stabilize the spacecraft, which was spinning too fast after it separated from the final rocket stage, Worden said. But the computer automatically shut the wheels down, apparently because of excess current. He speculated the wheels may have been running a little fast.

Worden stressed there is no rush to "get these bugs ironed out."

The LADEE spacecraft, which is charged with studying the lunar atmosphere and dust, soared aboard an unmanned Minotaur rocket a little before midnight from Virginia's Eastern Shore.

"Godspeed on your journey to the moon, LADEE," Launch Control said. Flight controllers applauded and exchanged high-fives following the successful launch. "We are headed to the moon!" NASA said in a tweet.

It was a change of venue for NASA, which normally launches moon missions from Cape Canaveral, Fla. But it provided a rare light show along the East Coast for those blessed with clear skies.


Pocomoke City Mayor and Council Meeting



Monday, September 9, 2013, 7:30 P.M.

City Hall

Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance.

2.  Review and approval of minutes from meetings of August 5 and September 3, 2013.


3.  Review and approval of bills to be paid.


4.  Police Chief Sewell to introduce new police officer. (Rudell Brown)


5.  Introduction of new police K-9 Unit. (Officer Conner and K9 Exodus)


6.  Mr. Charlie Webster representing Relay for Life Committee


7.  Mr. Mike Shannon to present wrap-report on recent Boat Docking Contest.


8.  Mr. Larry Layman to discuss rental property at 423 Oxford Street.


9.  City Manager to recommend purchase of new kayak/floating dock system from A Plus Marine Services of Selbyville, De.


10.  Discuss proposed equipment purchases:


a.  Used 6” inch pump with trailer for Public Works/Water & Sewer Departments.

b.  Replacement keystone actuators for Sewage Treatment Plant. (5).


Comments from the Audience.

Mayor and Council Items.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

TIME MACHINE ... 1916, 1956, 1930, 1914, 1967

(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material)

(Prohibition in Worcester County brings very different views.) 
 September, 1916
(The Frederick News Post- Frederick, Md.)


Senator Orlando Harrison:

Voting out the legalized saloons of Worcester County has done wonders for the laboring man. More than 90 percent of our men have bought homes and are paying for them weekly. They feed better, dress better and double the percentage in attendance at church. Some improvements can yet be made. It's a hundred to one better without saloons.

Harrison was a former mayor of Berlin and a man of many accomplishments which are detailed at the following web address:

(An advertisement against prohibition quoted the "Baltimore News" of September, 28,1916, concerning conditions in Worcester County.)

 October, 1916
(The Frederick News Post- Frederick, Md.)

Worcester County is "dry." Someone took the trouble to find out what was coming into the county and, disregarding the other carriers, selected one express company.

During one month the company brought into the county, directed to citizens, 27 barrels of whiskey, costing $9.000. Of this amount, Pocomoke City received 10 barrels, Snow Hill 7, and other towns the rest.

Besides these amounts, the freight trains brought in at least an equal amount, while steamboats from Baltimore are said to have brought in as much again, making a total of nearly $36,000 worth of booze that Worcester county people purchased in one month.

(The anti-prohibition advertisement went on to state:)

The above news items show beyond all doubt...

...that drunkenness actually increases under prohibition rule;

...that Prohibition fosters bootlegging and illegal selling;

...that Prohibition encourages constant evasion of law and order.

Prohibition also deprives the community of its necessary revenues- and the loss of these revenues invariably results in poor roads, neglected schools and increased taxes.

  April, 1956 (The Salisbury Times)

Two Trotters Die In Track Fire

POCOMOKE CITY, Md.,- April 5. (AP) Two harness horses were killed and a brick building destroyed yesterday by a fire which for a time endangered nearby houses and buildings. 

The horses, Mar-D and Broray, were owned and trained by John Matthews, a name familiar on the eastern harness circuit.

The fire occurred in the early morning hours sometime before dawn. The building was at the end of Dudley Avenue, off of Second Street, not far from the Fairgrounds (no longer used for public events at that time) where the old race track was used for harness horse training. The home I grew up in was closest to that old brick building. I remember being awakened by my parents and leaving our house, seeing the blaze and embers whirling in the night sky, Before being used for harness horse stables the old brick building was an abandoned structure. I seem to recall having heard that it originally may have been a box factory. -tk

  February, 1930
The 1930 Nash 400 was being advertised as the car with the oil cushioned chasis and superior performance. The dealership nearest Pocomoke City was D.H. Hancock in Stockton.

May, 1914 (The Denton Journal)

The Republicans will come into full control of the House of Correction this month. There are 26 places, big and little, to be filled by the House of Correction Board. First of these is that of superintendent or warden, now held by William E. Lankford of Worcester County. This is one of the best paid positions in the State, the salary, which is fixed by the Board, being $3,000 a year, with a comfortable residence and subsistence for the warden and family. The assistant superintendent gets $1,200 a year and board for himself, but not for his family. The clerk gets $125 a month and does not live at the institution, while the chief engineer receives $100 a month. The physician, who does not give his full time to the prison, receives $700 a year. Most of the other places pay modest salaries, nevertheless they have been much sought after, particularly by men from the counties.

April, 1967 (Time Machine archive)
The Pony Ranch Drive-In on Route 13 south of Pocomoke City was advertising a 39-cent Ranch Burger special that consisted of a double-decker hamburger with cheese, special sauce, lettuce and pickle. The regular price was 60-cents. The Pony Ranch menu also included Subs, Pizza, Chicken In The Basket, Shakes, and Soft Serve Products. 

The Pony Ranch parking lot spaces had speaker phones so you could just drive up and order from your car; your order would be brought out to you to enjoy in your car or to take with you. The Pony Ranch was operated by L.J. and June McGee. 

  Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two, or more if you wish. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

PRESS RELEASE Maryland State Police (MSP) In An “All Hands On Deck” Data Processing Effort This Weekend


(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Employees from across Maryland state government are assisting the Maryland State Police (MSP) in an “all hands on deck” data processing effort this weekend designed to continue MSP’s efforts to ensure both (1) that firearm purchase applications are processed as quickly as possible, and (2) that firearms are not released to prohibited persons. 

Data entry personnel, who are all state employees, from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Department of Human Resources, and the Department of Juvenile Services began assisting the State Police Licensing Division yesterday and are continuing their work today, tomorrow, and Monday.  Each agency has between 25 and 40 employees working each day to input information from the backlogged firearms purchase applications into electronic form.  MSP personnel will then be able to conduct the necessary background checks more quickly and efficiently.  The employees from each agency have volunteered for the extra duty. 

Various steps have been taken to protect each applicant’s personal information: 

None of the assisting state employees will be conducting any type of background check or investigation -- that will all continue to be handled by the appropriate MSP personnel.

Each of the employees involved in the data entry process is bound by a confidentiality agreement.   

State employees from these five agencies deal with sensitive and confidential information every day in the course of their regular duties -- this includes mental health records, inmate records, driving records, and social services records, all of which contain information like social security numbers. 

The firearm purchase application information provided to these employees is encrypted and all discs will be destroyed after the data is entered for MSP.   

All employees have been instructed that this information is not to be released outside the agencies, or their networks. 

The employees assisting in this data entry will not be accessing confidential information related to any of the 16 inquiries conducted by MSP during a background investigation for a firearms purchase application -- their role is to simply enter the applicant’s data electronically to expedite the MSP investigative process. 

This procedure was reviewed and approved as appropriate by an assistant attorney general assigned to the MSP. 
This process is being actively overseen through auditors at each agency and at the State Police Licensing Division to ensure accuracy and quality control of the information.   

MSP scanned more than 35,000 backlogged firearms purchase applications and delivered the encrypted data to each of the assisting agencies.  MSP personnel met with liaisons at each agency and trained them on the proper procedures needed for this data entry process.  The work began yesterday and will continue through Monday.  Employees from the various agencies will be working in their own offices. 

MSP has been working since last fall to address the unprecedented surge in regulated firearms purchase applications. In December 2012, Licensing Division personnel began working 21-hours a day, seven days a week.  A resource pool of almost 60 sworn and civilian personnel who are able to conduct background investigations were identified and were called upon to supplement Licensing Division staff.  From August 2012 to August 2013, State Police personnel have worked more than 24,000 hours of overtime addressing the firearm purchase application backlog.   

In the past year, 21 troopers have been reassigned from other duties and 17 civilian employees have been added to the Licensing Division for a total of 73 employees as of August 1st.  Additional employees continue to be hired.  Thirty-seven computers have been added to provide workstations for the additional personnel.   

As of September 6, 2013, the Maryland State Police Licensing Division has received 88,884 firearms purchase applications and 48,934 of those applications have been processed.  The applications processed so far this year number more than the number of applications received in each of the years 2010 and 2011.  The weekly average of applications received in 2010 was 744.  In 2013, the weekly average of applications received is 2,432.   

This weekend’s extra effort is an attempt to speed the background check process by converting the purchase application into an electronic form and eliminating that step for State Police investigators.  New options and ideas will continue to be explored and employed in an effort to overcome this challenge, while keeping the safety of Maryland citizens as our top priority. 

Legislative Updates By Delegate Mike McDermott

  • Gun Bill Update-One More Problem
September 7th, 2013

Now...One More Thing to Worry About!
by Delegate Mike McDermott

Today, the Maryland State Police announced a new policy which is currently allowing non-certified personnel from a several statewide organizations to have complete access to  the MSP Form 77’s filed by individuals seeking to purchase a Regulated Firearm. The decision to allow non-vetted, non police personnel to access these forms is unprecedented and is part of a plan to help the MSP get caught up with the tremendous backlog they currently face with applications.

The Form 77 contains an incredible amount of identity information including: name, birthdate, address, Social Security number, Drivers License number, and information relevant to the firearm being purchased. With so many issues surrounding identity theft and compromised personal information, citizens filling out these forms do so with the idea that the only people visiting and accessing the information are law enforcement personnel. Law enforcement personnel must have background checks completed, polygraph exams, drug testing, psychological evaluations, etc. before they are considered for employment. This type of extensive vetting insures, to the best of the governments ability, that the individual is trustworthy and can be trusted with various types of sensitive information and access to confidential information. Vetting of this nature is important.

Cutting corners by allowing non law enforcement personnel to provide clerical support to an overwhelmed MSP may appear to be a good idea, but the risk cannot be overlooked. Many folks are expressing various degrees of outrage that this is taking place. They already feel threatened with the loss of liberty by the current implementation of SB-281, now they feel violated by a process that they have submitted to as law abiding folks.

To be sure, the criminals are not submitting their information for review. Their identities will remain secure.
This wave of applications should have been seen as it was approaching more than a year ago. The increase in firearms purchases was a sign of things to come and should have clued in the governor and MSP to prepare to hire and expand the Firearm’s Section. Having failed to take this type of action doomed the state to find itself in the current predicament. Any business in the private sector that failed in such a way would already have gone out of business.

Perhaps, if this use of personnel from various state agencies was seen as a possible means of getting caught up, those assigned should have been vetted and had background checks performed on them many months ago. At least this would have provided some degree of reassurance to the folks who are submitting these applications. As it sits, citizens can only wonder if this action will come back to haunt them and their families in the future.

Since it appears these outside agency personnel are being utilized in an overtime capacity, would it not have been prudent to simply utilize overtime to have other MSP personnel do the same duty? Or perhaps the other state law enforcement agencies (and there are many) could have been tasked as well over the past several months to insure that only vetted, certified staff would be accessing these records. Had these options been utilized over the past 6 months, we would have avoided this massive use of non law enforcement staff in the “ ninth” hour.

I have contacted the MSP Legislative Liaison and shared my concerns and those of the thousands of firearms applicants across Maryland who, once again, feel betrayed by their state. The reasoning behind their decision is included in their press release from today.

I join with the vast number of those who have contacted my office on this matter and express my great concern over these actions. A failure to plan on the part of those who should have known better is not a good reason to compromise our standards and process.

I will be contacting Colonel Marcus Brown and Governor Martin O’Malley to give voice to these concerns and I urge all firearms owners in Maryland to contact their offices as well and voice your concerns over this practice.

"Marylanders Take Back Your State!"


Charles Michael  Reynolds
(September 6, 2013) – On September 5, 2013, at approximately 2 p.m. an Ocean City officer on patrol conducted a traffic stop in the area of 3rd Street and Philadelphia Avenue for a seatbelt violation. As the officer approached the vehicle, the officer noticed numerous used shotgun shell cartridges throughout the inside of the vehicle and a large folding knife attached to the driver’s pocket. The smell of burnt marijuana was emanating from inside of the vehicle, as well.

When the officer spoke to the driver, later identified as Charles Michael Reynolds, 22, of Bristow, VA, he stated that there was a loaded semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun in the vehicle and that he did nothave a handgun permit in the State of Maryland. The officer then  requested that Reynolds and the passenger, Ryan Zachary Pritchard, 21, also of Bristow, exit the vehicle while officers conducted a search. During the search of the vehicle, officers located the handgun that Reynolds mentioned, loaded magazines, two other large fixed blade knives and a metal throwing 
Ryan Zachary Pritchard

Reynolds has been charged by Ocean City police with two counts of possession of a concealed deadly weapon, two counts of possession of a handgun on his person and possession of a handgun in a vehicle. Pritchard has been charged with two counts of possession of a concealed deadly weapon, possession of a handgun on his person and possession of a handgun in a vehicle. 

Both were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released without bond.

Ocean City Police Department

Stay Alert On Roadways For Ocean City BikeFest


 Next weekend, September 12 – 15, 2013, Ocean City will see an increased number of motorcyclists as bikers make their way to Ocean City for this year’s OC BikeFest Motorcycle Rally.  OC BikeFest will take place at various locations throughout Ocean City. The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens of a few important safety tips to keep in mind during this weekend’s event:

◾Be aware of motorcycle traffic. Often time’s people cannot see motorcycles because of blind spots in their mirror.  Be extra cautious of this when driving, especially when changing lanes.

◾If you see any criminal activity including racing or dangerous driving, try to get a good description of the vehicle and person. If you are not driving, try to write down the tag number and call the police.

In addition to safe driving tips, the Ocean City Police Department also reminds citizens of the importance of pedestrian, bicycle and scooter safety.  For individuals who are traveling on foot, on a bicycle or scooter, here are some important safety tips to remember:

Cross the street at a marked crosswalk or intersection.

◾Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy intersections.

◾Continue to watch for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk.

◾It is illegal to wear headphones in both ears at the same time while operating any vehicle.

◾Vehicle operators should to be extremely vigilant while driving, keeping consistently aware of pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and scooters.

◾Avoid making quick, un-signaled turns or abrupt stops. If you can’t make the turn safely, proceed past the turn and turn around when safe.

◾Allow plenty of time to stop or proceed through intersections.
◾Pedestrians should not take unnecessary risks crossing busy streets against traffic lights.

◾Parents are reminded to pay extra attention to children when crossing busy roads. Keep hold of small children’s hands while waiting for traffic lights to change and while crossing.

◾Bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets and must ride in the bus lane. In addition, bicyclists must abide by all traffic laws, including stopping at red lights and stop signs.

◾Moped/scooter operators and passengers are encouraged to wear helmets and footwear. If you are renting a scooter you are required to wear a helmet and footwear.

Ocean City Police Dept.