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.
Good for Maryland to recognize the failure after 15 years and stop it. There are plenty of failed government programs that have gone on for much longer.