Since 2000 Maryland required that gun manufacturers fire every handgun to be sold in the state and send the spent casings to authorities. (Photo: Screenshot from Baltimore Sun video)

Since 2000 Maryland required that gun manufacturers fire every handgun to be sold in the state and send the spent casings to authorities. (Photo: Screenshot from Baltimore Sun video)

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 there 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, which cost the state millions, was plagued by technological problems, and never solved a single case. Now the hundreds of thousands of accumulated casings could be sold for scrap, the Baltimore Sun reports.

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