Right Hooks

MD Closes Ineffective Gun Casing Database

Liberal logic didn't jive with reality. Again.

Dan Gilmore · Nov. 11, 2015
Photo courtesy Ratha Grimes, Flickr

Yes, the newest technological advancement can be helpful for law enforcement, but it’s no savior. In fact, it can be a huge waste. In 2000, the State of Maryland started a database to collect bullet casings from every gun sold in the state. The thinking behind the program was that each gun makes a unique “fingerprint” when the bullet is fired. Maryland’s law enforcement wanted to create a database that could be used to solve crime. Now 15 years, $5 million and more than 300,000 bullet casings later, the state is closing the program after it hasn’t helped in solving a single case. Former Governor Parris Glendening, who originally pushed for the program, told The Baltimore Sun, “Obviously, I’m disappointed. It’s a little unfortunate, in that logic and common sense suggest that it would be a good crime-fighting tool.” But liberal logic didn’t jive with reality. Again. Maryland joined New York, which closed its program in 2012 for similar reasons. To paraphrase law professor Glenn Reynolds, gun control advocates don’t mind spending money on onerous gun regulations and the legal fees associated with prosecuting to the fullest extent any citizen who violates those regulations. In Maryland’s case, it also burned the money of its citizens who collected guns, as firing a vintage gun tarnishes its value.

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