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Only Police And The Military Can Be Trusted With Firearms

Only Police And The Military Can Be Trusted With Firearms

Or so we are told by the anti gun Main Stream Media.

Which makes this story by the always anti gun Associated Press a surprise.

Some stolen US military guns used in violent crimes

In the first public accounting of its kind in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found that at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010s, with some resurfacing in violent crimes. Because some armed services have suppressed the release of basic information, AP’s total is a certain undercount.

Government records covering the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force show pistols, machine guns, shotguns and automatic assault rifles have vanished from armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships, firing ranges and other places where they were used, stored or transported. These weapons of war disappeared because of unlocked doors, sleeping troops, a surveillance system that didn’t record, break-ins and other security lapses that, until now, have not been publicly reported.

For a civilian gun owner losing a firearm is a big deal. A really bid deal in some states. In my state, which has very strict firearms regulations losing a handgun will at the least result in loss of one’s concealed carry license. At worst, it can lead to felony charges and permanent loss of the right to own firearms. That includes thefts if the state can demonstrate that firearms were not properly stored when not in use.

Top officials within the Army, Marines and Secretary of Defense’s office said that weapon accountability is a high priority, and when the military knows a weapon is missing it does trigger a concerted response to recover it. The officials also said missing weapons are not a widespread problem and noted that the number is a tiny fraction of the military’s stockpile.

“We have a very large inventory of several million of these weapons,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in an interview. “We take this very seriously and we think we do a very good job. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t losses. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t mistakes made.”

I should keep this quote in mind if I ever suffer a loss of one of my firearms. I’ll just tell the police that it’s only a tiny fraction of the number of firearms I own and I took it very seriously once I figured out that this expensive piece of hardware had vanished from my safe.

Yeah, that will work.

It’s often an insider who does the theft, especially someone who is in a position to handle firearms or parts on a regular basis. Human nature is to become a bit complacent about this and trust people you know to behave responsibly.

In 2014, NCIS began investigating the theft of weapons parts from Special Boat Team Twelve, a Navy unit based in Coronado, California. Four M4 trigger assemblies that could make a civilian AR-15 fully automatic were missing. Investigators found an armory inventory manager was manipulating electronic records by moving items or claiming they had been transferred. The parts were never recovered and the case was closed after federal prosecutors declined to file charges.

Yet the AP and other media outlets are constantly worrying about people making “ghost” guns in their basements. Why do that when you can buy high quality parts from a government employed thief?

BTW, this sort of thing also happens in EMS, only with controlled drugs like Fentanyl and Versed instead of firearms.

Note also that federal prosecutors declined to press charges. There are valid reasons for this, but there are also invalid reasons such as not wanting to embarrass anyone.

The entire article is worth reading, although there is some slant in it like all media articles. There also appears to be some prevarication on the part of the military so admit that there is a problem or how they plan to address it.

There are two things to keep in mind in addition to what was reported.

First, there are a measurable number of criminal gang members who enlist in the military. They do this for legitimate reasons such as wanting to escape the gang life and it’s risks. Some also do it for non legitimate reasons. One is to get military training so as to be more efficient at dealing with rival gang members and resisting the police. Another is the potential to bring criminal activity, such as theft and drug dealing into military housing. Firearms theft would also be a motivator. Something to think about, isn’t it?

The other is that this article covers theft or loss from out military, not civilian law enforcement agencies. I couldn’t find any good stories on the overall issue, just scattered articles on individual thefts.

Thefts include those of law enforcement weapons and thefts of guns taken in evidence or held for other reasons. It also includes more than a few stories where law enforcement officers left guns in places like public rest rooms or other places. Again, if a civilian does this, he is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Somewhat embarrassingly, the federal agency in charge of enforcing firearms laws in the US also has a lost gun problem,

ATF’s problem of ‘lost, stolen, or missing’ guns has gotten better, but it’s still a problem

TF firearms have vanished under embarrassing circumstances, according to the report:

  • Ten firearms, including one rifle, were stolen from government vehicles in separate incidents. The agents received four- or five-day suspensions.
  • A neighbor found an ATF gun on top of a vehicle. The responsible agent was suspended for four days.
  • Agents twice lost pistols at restaurants. One officer received a letter of reprimand; the other was suspended for eight days.
  • An agent who left a weapon in a briefcase on the Metro was suspended for 10 days.
  • A missing revolver was found in an employee’s personal car, resulting in a 25-day suspension, the severest disciplinary action listed.

Horowitz said his office identified “several significant deficiencies related to tracking and inventory of ammunition. For example, ammunition tracking records were understated by almost 31 thousand rounds at the 13 sites we audited. Given that ATF has over 275 offices, the number of unaccounted ammunition rounds is likely much higher.”

Need I drone on again about what would happen to me if I lost any of my firearms? And at the prices ammunition is selling at these days, I know where every single round I own is sitting!

So, when you hear someone talking about how gun owners should be penalized for losing guns or ammunition, point them this way.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.