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Crime guns traced to ATF

That’s a bit of hyperbole. I’m using gun-ban-speak. But this was amusing:

The ATF lost 76 weapons and hundreds of laptops over five years, the Justice Department reported Wednesday, blaming carelessness and sloppy record-keeping.

Thirty-five of the missing handguns, rifles, Tasers and other weapons were stolen, as were 50 laptops, the internal audit found. Two of the stolen weapons were used in crimes.

The audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found “inadequate” oversight of weapons and laptops resulted in “significant rates of losses” at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“It is especially troubling that that ATF’s rate of loss for weapons was nearly double that of the FBI and DEA, and that ATF did not even know whether most of its lost, stolen, or missing laptop computers contained sensitive or classified information,” he added.

Actually, it’s disturbing that they lose any. Some numbers:

It found that ATF lost three times more weapons each month than it had in a similar 2002 audit by the Treasury Department, which used to oversee the agency. It also lost 50 times as many laptops as reported in the earlier audit.

Of the 76 weapons, 35 were reported stolen, 19 lost and 12 missing from inventories, investigators found. Of the 418 missing laptops, 50 were stolen, 8 lost and 274 could not be found during inventory. Another 86 laptops were unaccounted for because ATF had either destroyed or lost documents showing where they were, the audit concluded.

Two weapons reported stolen were used to commit crimes. In one instance, a gun was stolen from an ATF car parked outside the agent’s home and later used to shoot through the window of another residence, the audit found. In the other, a stolen ATF gun was taken from a burglary suspect.

Additionally, ATF employees did not report 13 of the 76 lost weapons, or 365 of the 418 missing laptops, to internal affairs as required. ATF officials also did not report much of the lost equipment to the Justice Department.

ATF continues its record of stellar performance!!

Via an alert reader, who notes: Sullivan’s solution – revise reporting standards for lost weapons – instead of ya know, revising standards for not losing them in the first place

Update: Meanwhile, the delicious irony of noting that ATF has shut down dealers who have made clerical errors with a smaller margin of error than ATF.

3 Responses to “Crime guns traced to ATF”

  1. Gregory Morris Says:

    Strange. Each time I inventory my guns, the number increases.

  2. Lyle Says:

    Time to shut ATF down, then. Seize their assets and charge the administrators with criminal negligence, misappropriation, embezzlement, and wanton disregard for government property. Have their homes ransack-searched and their pets stompped to death. Hey, they’ve already set the standards…

    On that note; their “compound” could be surrounded with tanks pumping tear gas…

  3. Blake Says:

    Another irony is that the BATF was using the argument in a machine gun case (that I was witness to) that the guns could have been stolen and used in crimes (of course, they were locked away and most weren’t functional).

    If I had been the lawyer in that case, I would have used this story as evidence to show the BATF that they should be minding their own firearms.