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DNR tracking of hunter education guns criticized

ANNAPOLIS — A recent federal audit says Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is threatening the public’s safety because of improper tracking of weapons used for hunter education.

The audit by the U.S. Department of the Interior released last month found that out of more than 900 guns issued to volunteers, the department did not properly account for 761.

However, Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin told The Baltimore Sun that the department has never had a gun stolen or used in criminal activity and denies the public’s safety has been threatened.

Auditors said they were told most of the guns were kept at the homes of volunteers or at gun clubs, but Natural Resources Police did not have adequate records of where they were kept.