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Just in from the NRA-ILA, you may want to contact the legislators and show your support. Thanx.

Legislators Submit Bill To Repeal Ballistics Law

By David Snyder
Saturday, January 22, 2005; Page B10

Maryland lawmakers yesterday submitted a measure to repeal a state law requiring state police to collect ballistics information on every handgun sold in the state.

The bill -- sponsored by Dels. Joan Cadden (D-Anne Arundel), Norman H. Conway (D-Wicomico) and Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil) -- would nullify a landmark measure passed in 2000 that requires handgun manufacturers to test-fire all handguns sold in Maryland and send the spent shell casings to the state police. The police file the shell's ballistics markings in a database, which officers can use to match shell casings found at crime scenes.

Maryland and New York are the only states with ballistics "fingerprinting" laws, which gun-control advocates and some law enforcement officials have hailed as a potentially effective crime-fighting tool.

A recent Maryland State Police report, however, said the program is expensive and ineffective and recommended that the law be repealed. Gun-control advocates have disagreed, saying the system needs more time to work.

"The state police have indicated it's not working," said Smigiel, who filed a similar bill last year that died in committee. "We're wasting a couple million dollars which we could be putting to better use."
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