Nothing causes people to buy something that they might not have otherwise like telling them that very soon, their opportunity to buy will have expired. Isn’t this the entire premise of home-shopping channels?

That same psychology is at work in Maryland, where gun permit applications are surging as people try to tool up before new gun laws go into effect.

Applications for gun purchases in Maryland are soaring ahead of the start of a tough new firearms law that sets new magazine capacity limits and bans the sale of certain types of assault weapons.

The Washington Times reported that state police received 85,141 gun-purchase applications this year through Aug. 31. That’s compared with 70,099 applications in all of 2012 and 46,339 applications in 2011. Maryland State Police have increased staffing to cope.

In August 2012, 38 employees were assigned to conduct background checks, but this year 73 employees are doing that work, according to Sgt. Marc Black. Black said 60 temporary staffers are also rotating hours.

“We’re looking at unprecedented numbers,” Maryland State Police Sgt. Marc Black told the newspaper. “We saw this coming.”

While It’s only a guess, I suspect the overwhelming majority of firearms being purchased are so-called “assault weapons,” and not just handguns that accept standard-capacity magazines. Citizens could easily buy the same handguns before or after the ban, and then pick-up standard-capacity magazines out of state without Maryland authorities being any the wiser about when and where they purchased the magazines (which is just another example of why such laws are so pointless).

According to the article, permits are taking five months to process, despite the staffing increase. What happens to those people who applied for permits months in advance, that the government fails to serve before the ban becomes law? Are they simply out of luck?

Are Maryland authorities “slow-walking” applications, despite nearly doubling their staff, in hopes of keeping the number of grandfathered firearms lower than it would otherwise be?

Yes, I know that sounds incredibly cynical… but anti-gun Democrats are known for abusing and enforcing laws as they see fit, so it is certainly a possibility.