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Last week, Jarrod Ramos walked into the office of The Capital, a newspaper that he has had a long running battle with for a few years, after his lawsuit for defamation of character against the newspaper was dismissed.

It is easier to obtain a shotgun or rifle in Maryland than it is a handgun, but a person still has to undergo a background check and Ramos did everything he was legally required to do. The only thing on his record was a misdemeanor for harassing a woman back in 2011. This kind of misdemeanor is not among the convictions that prevent approval for the legal purchase of a firearm in Maryland, so Ramos purchased legally purchased the shotgun he used to kill 5 people.

(The Baltimore Sun) – Although Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, none could have prevented the massacre of five people in The Capital newsroom Thursday, policymakers said.

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The weapon used in the attack has been described by police as a pump-action shotgun. While “long guns” like shotguns and rifles are less tightly regulated than handguns, a purchaser nonetheless must undergo a criminal background check to buy one from a dealer, as Jarrod W. Ramos did. But Ramos was never convicted of a crime serious enough to bar such a purchase.

He pleaded guilty in 2011 to harassing a woman he had known in high school, but harassment isn’t among the misdemeanors that prohibit gun ownership under state or federal law…

Even if Maryland’s new law was already in effect, it would not have stopped Ramos from purchasing or owning his shotgun. The law designed to allow judges to order the seizure of guns from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others says that only close relatives, spouses or dating partners can file the request to have firearms confiscated. That means that even though Ramos had made threats against the newspaper staff and even if they complained, the law would not have allowed for Ramos to have his gun taken away.

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