A law requiring Maryland State Police to collect ballistics information from each handgun sold in the state has not aided a single criminal investigation and should be repealed, the state police contend, report the Associated Press. About $2.5 million has been spent on the program. Col. Thomas E. Hutchins, state police superintendent, said he would prefer spending the money on proved crime-fighting techniques.
Maryland was the first state to adopt a ballistic fingerprinting law in April 2000. New York is the only other state to have such a database. “The system really is not doing anything,” Hutchins said. “The guns that we find at crime scenes may not necessarily be the ones sold in Maryland, so there’s nothing to compare it to anyway.” Gun-control groups favor ballistic fingerprinting systems, saying they are effective crime-fighting tools. Leah Barrett of CeaseFire Maryland, said state police are not using the database enough.