Today, we have been trying to get a few questions answered regarding the authority Keith Shephard had to carry a gun in the State of Maryland.
First, we contacted the media liaison for the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall to find out about their policies. Our call was directed into the voicemail of Kathy Flores(?). We asked four questions:
- Is the officer a DOD employee
- If not, is he employed by a contracted firm?
- Is he required to carry a weapon while off duty?
- Is he authorized to carry a weapon off duty?
We left two voicemails today and received an email response from Mary Ann Hodges, the Director of Public Affairs at 2:07pm:
Per your request:
The police officer involved in the Severn, Maryland dog park shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the Anne Arundel County investigation. This is standard operating procedure for any of our officers under investigation.
For information on the investigation, please contact the Anne Arundel County Public Information Officer at 410-222-8700.
We responded to see if she would address the questions as they relate to the Ft. Meyer installation. The email came back immediately with an “out of office” auto responder.
We also contacted the Maryland State Police by email to see if indeed, Officer Shephard’s gun was registered and if he had filed the proper paperwork to carry the concealed weapon. We askedthree questions
- Can you verify if a Keith Shephard of Severn, MD currently has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in MD. Or if any handguns are registered in his name?
- Are sworn officers of non-Maryland jurisdictions allowed to carry a concealed weapon in MD?
- If so, must this be their service weapon? Or can they carry any personal weapon?
At this time, the Maryland State Police has not responded to our inquiry.
While we have been unable to confirm the policies, we have heard from readers that civilian police officers on military installations are required to leave their weapon on base when they are off duty. If this is true, Officer Shephard likely would have to register his handgun with the Maryland State Police and obtain the proper concealed weapon permit.
Meanwhile, his attorney has contacted The Capital and The Baltimore Sun to inform then that his client is looking forward to the inquiry and maintains that his client fired the weapon in self defense and felt that his life was in danger. The attorney also stressed that his client had served two tours of duty in Iraq and was a “decorated Army veteran.”