|Monday, December 12, 2011 – John Patti and The Baltimore Sun|
|Maryland Natural Resources Police – reportedly – have lost track of hundreds of state-owned firearms that it issued to volunteer-trainers in hunter education programs.
A recent federal audit by the Department of the Interior concludes that this has created a public safety risk, and is a potential mis-use of federal money.
The report says 761 firearms were not properly accounted for out of more than 900 guns that the state issued to private citizens.
The Sun reports that in once case, according to the audit, a volunteer admitted to lending one of the firearms to an acquaintance who allowed a minor to use it.
Maryland Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin vigorously disputes the audit’s findings calling the findings an expression of personal opinion by the auditors.
DNR officials contend that more than half the firearms involved…are actually nonworking replicas used only for teaching.