Liberty Planet Weblog

This must be how criminals get their guns…Park Police lost track of thousands of weapons

Posted on: June 29, 2013

The U.S. Park Police has lost track of thousands of handguns, rifles and machine guns in what a government watchdog agency concluded is the latest example of mismanagement on a police force trusted to protect millions of visitors to the city’s iconic monuments.

There is no indication that police guns got into the hands of criminals, but the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of the Interior warned that the Park Police might not know if they had. In a scathing report, the authors said there is “credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing.”

The probe was launched in part because of an anonymous tip that Park Police officers were improperly taking weapons home. Investigators discovered two instances in which that had occurred, but they found many other troubling examples of mismanagement, according to the report.

Investigators found 1,400 guns that were supposed to have been destroyed or melted down. An additional 198 handguns donated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are sitting in a building in Anacostia but don’t show up in official records.

In another instance, the agency in October 2011 sent a list of 18 pistols, shotguns and rifles it described as lost or stolen to a national database. But it never launched an internal investigation. The guns, it turned out, had been destroyed or given to other agencies — or they were still in Park Police possession, according to the report. One Remington shotgun remains missing.

Continue reading at The Washington Post

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