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Maryland Gun Fingerprint Database

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by RicInOR, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Bet you knew they had one. I didn't.

    How's that working ?

    Maryland Scraps ‘Gun Fingerprint’ Database as Complete Failure: After 15 years, not a single “gun violence” case was solved.

    "Millions of dollars later, Maryland has officially decided that its 15-year effort to store and catalog the “fingerprints” of thousands of handguns was a failure. Since 2000, the state required that gun manufacturers fire every handgun to be sold here and send the spent bullet casing to authorities. The idea was to build a database of “ballistic fingerprints” to help solve future crimes. But the system — plagued by technological problems — never solved a single case. Now the hundreds of thousands of accumulated casings could be sold for scrap."
    Slobray likes this.
  2. FireArm

    FireArm Beavercreek 97004 Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Maryland has always pioneered failures... many social programs fail amazingly in that state.
    Slobray likes this.
  3. misterarman

    misterarman Vancouver,Wa. USA Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Too close to Washington DC .
  4. WasrNwarpaint

    WasrNwarpaint Portland Well-Known Member

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    Scrapped: Maryland ends bullet ID program after 15 years, $5M and zero cases solved


    An ambitious plan by Maryland to catalog the “fingerprint” of every gun sold in the state -- making dealers fire a shot and send in the spent casing -- is being scrapped, literally.

    State authorities have conceded that the bullet ID program, enacted in 2000, cost $5 million, was plagued by technical problems and did not solve a single crime. Now, the 300,000 shell casings, one from every handgun sold in the state since the law took effect, will now be sold for scrap metal.

    "Obviously, I'm disappointed," former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening, whose administration pushed for the database, told the Baltimore Sun. "It's a little unfortunate, in that logic and common sense suggest that it would be a good crime-fighting tool."

    But Second Amendment advocates say the program was doomed to fail.

    “It was clear 10 years ago that this program was not going to work,” John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center told FoxNews.com. "Millions were spent on funding this program, money that could have been better used for actual police and law-enforcement resources.”

    “It was clear ten years ago that this program was not going to work.”

    - John Lott, Crime Prevention Research Center

    Lott even predicted that the program would fail over a decade ago in an op-ed piece in the National Review in February 2005. Even though the state spent approximately $60 per gun to catalog each firearm's unique ballistic signature, critics, including Lott, said legally purchased guns were typically not the ones wielded by criminals. They also said the program suffered from widespread erroneous entry of data and the inadequate software often resulted in hundreds of "matches" being found for each casing tested.

    According to the Baltimore Sun, the hundreds of thousands of “fingerprinted” casings were stored in envelopes kept in boxes inside an old fallout shelter beneath the Maryland State Police headquarters in the Baltimore suburb of Pikesville, filling three massive rooms, each secured by a combination lock. Each shell was stamped with a barcode and then photographed by forensic scientists to create a database they hoped would yield matches to casings collected at crime scenes.

    Related Image
    gun_maker.jpg Expand / Contract
    FILE: Undated: A model 1911 pistol is held in the hands of an assembler at the Smith & Wesson factory in Springfield, Mass.

    “The Maryland ballistics database has been a failure from its inception,” Amy Hunter, spokeswoman for the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, told FoxNews.com. “The program has been effectively defunct for several years. Funding has been discontinued, and the personnel associated with the program have been reassigned, yet the requirement persisted and its costs were passed on to the consumer. The NRA-ILA supported the repeal and is pleased it’s now in effect.”

    In theory, the “fingerprinting” system is sound science. Scratches are etched onto a casing which enables them to be matched to the weapon that fired the shot. The program was expanded from a limited, but successful National Ballistics database which only collected casings from crime scenes.

    Throughout its run, the Maryland database helped investigators a total of 26 times, but with each case, they already knew which gun was in question, state police officials said. New York had followed Maryland’s lead and created a database of their own, but funding was pulled in 2012 when that program proved ineffective. Some backers say the program could have worked if authorities had stuck with it, claiming that handguns used in crimes are typically as old as 20 years or more.

    In 2008, the Justice Department asked the National Research Council to study the value of creating their own database similar to the one in Maryland and New York, but it was determined that it would not be a good use of funds.
  5. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  6. sdlsaginaw

    sdlsaginaw Oregon Active Member

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    If only they would have enacted common-sense legislation to close the revolver loophole. :rolleyes:
  7. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Only 5 million?! In 15 years?
    With that math, they must have just pocketed the money and never ran a case.

    The reason I say that is, when does the government ever spend that little on something that has been an operational program for 15 years?

    They are always slow and over budget, its how the government operates.

    That and the idea behind the Projectile and Case identification is utterly retarded. All you need to do is alter the match between the grooves in the barrel and the projectile and file the firing pin just a little.

    Not to mention just having a revolver solves one of those issues.