ALBANY, NY (12/06/2011)(readMedia)-- In these difficult economic times Gov. Cuomo and the State Legislature are scrambling to deal with a current $350 million budget deficit that will rise to $3 - $3.5 billion next year. It is imperative that every dollar spent goes to proven programs. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association has a suggestion for meeting this goal: abolish the Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS).
The CoBIS program was introduced by Gov. Pataki in 2001. Its stated purpose is to collect identifying data from the shell casings of all new handguns sold in the state. This information is then entered into a database for use by law enforcement to aid in identifying and prosecuting criminals. Since its inception, over 350,000 shell cases have been collected and entered into the database – at an estimated cost of $43 million – and not a single arrest or conviction has resulted. In fact, CoBIS has proven to be such a boondoggle that no other state is even considering implementing their own version of it.
If Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature are serious about streamlining the budget then CoBIS ought to be abolished and its resources reallocated by the State Police to proven crime-fighting programs.