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For Immediate Release
June 9, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

BALTIMORE WOMAN CONVICTED OF
SUBMITTING FALSE APPLICATION TO BUY A HANDGUN

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Iva Theresa Cruse, 55, of 3726 East Lombard Street in Baltimore, was found guilty of False Application to Purchase a Regulated Firearm before the Honorable Lenore R. Gelfman in the Circuit Court for Howard County. Judge Gelfman imposed a sentence of two years in the Department of Corrections, with all of that time being suspended, and placed Cruse on one year of supervised probation. Furthermore, Cruse was advised that possession of any firearms or ammunition would violate a condition of her probation.

The facts presented to the Court were that on September 14, 1996, Cruse was found guilty in the District Court for Baltimore City of committing the crimes of Malicious Destruction over $300, and Theft over $300. The guilt finding was stricken at that time, and Cruse was given Probation Before Judgment. On February 3, 1998, however, the District Court found Cruse violated the terms of her probation, and the guilt findings were reimposed and she was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

On November 29, 2002, Cruse entered The Gun Shop, located in Essex, and attempted to buy a Taurus 9mm handgun. In order to buy a regulated firearm in Maryland, a purchaser is required to complete a Federal and State application. When completing both forms, Cruse denied that she had a previous felony conviction. The state application was then forwarded to the Maryland State Police Firearms Registration Section, located in Howard County. The Firearms Registration Section is charged with the duty of reviewing every such application no matter where in the State it is first completed by the purchaser. Upon examination of her application, and after completion of a background check, her prior felony conviction was discovered by the Maryland State Police and her application was disapproved as this conviction prohibits her from owning a handgun under Federal and State law.

This case was investigated by the Firearms Enforcement Section of the Maryland State Police and was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Firearms Trafficking Unit, Criminal Investigations Division. Funding for the Firearms Trafficking Unit comes from grants received from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

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