Monday, July 11, 2016

House lawmakers say agency oversight of firearms is ‘deplorable’

Agencies don’t always know where their firearms are. Federal law enforcement agencies – including components of the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Bureau of Prisons – lose a multitude of guns, bullets and other munitions every year due to faulty inventory tracking systems and theft. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the severity of the problem and whether any progress has been made after the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General exposed these issues in multiple reports dating back to 2003. “Gentlemen, you’re here because of your systems being deplorable. There’s no other word to describe them,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). DoJ IG Michael Horowitz said that after the most recent audit, the Bureau of Prisons has implemented three of the 14 recommendations listed in the report, which is roughly the amount of progress he expected. Thomas Kane, acting director of the bureau, said that a new inventory control system would be in place in early winter of 2017, and that updates on the system would be available in the spring.  Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management has lost eight firearms since 2005. One was lost in the mail, while the other seven were stolen. Six were recovered. One was used in a shooting in San Francisco in 2015. That particular handgun had been stolen out of a personal vehicle four days previous. BLM currently has 1,480 firearms, 1,048 of which have been issued to officers. The rest are used for training and ceremonial purposes, or are inoperable. BLM issues four weapons to each of its officers: a primary semi-automatic handgun, a backup semi-automatic handgun, a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle...more

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