Stolen U.S. military weapons used in violent crimes



In the first public investigation of its kind in many years, an Associated Press investigation found that at least 1,900 U.S. military weapons were lost or stolen during the 2010s. Some of the weapons were later used in violent crimes.

The AP reports that the number is likely much higher as the military restricts the publication of such information.

The investigation was based on government records from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The documents showed that many weapons, including machine guns and automatic assault rifles, had disappeared from storage rooms, ships and other locations. None were reported publicly.

Military explosives have also been lost or stolen, including some Grenades who were later found in a home in Atlanta, Georgia.

In Afghanistan, 65 Beretta M9s were stolen from a warehouse. The missing weapons were not discovered for weeks and were never recovered.

The Pentagon used to report stolen weapons to Congress annually, but that requirement ended years ago.

The Army and Air Force couldn’t tell the AP how many weapons were lost or stolen from 2010 to 2019. Therefore, the AP built its own database of information obtained from criminal cases, property loss reports, and other records.

The report found that poor records often mean that investigators are unable to find missing weapons.

Military weapons can be very attractive to some military insiders who are aware of the vulnerabilities in security. Such people can make money by stealing and selling the guns.

“It’s about the money, isn’t it?” Said Brigadier General Duane Miller. He is the second senior police officer in the army.

Senior officials in the Army, Navy and the Secretary of Defense said: persecution Arms is very important. However, the officials said the lack of weapons was not a major problem. They found that the number is very small compared to the total number of weapons used by the military.

Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said the military had “several million” weapons. He said missing firearms cases were taken “very seriously”. He added that the military could make up 99 percent of its weapons.

Since there is no longer a reporting requirement, the Pentagon is responsible for informing Congress about missing weapons. That hasn’t happened since at least 2017.

A Defense Department official told the AP that a missing missile would of course be reported, but a stolen machine gun would not.

While the AP’s investigation focused on the 2010s, incidents related to the lack of military weapons are still happening.

In May, an army trainee fled with an M4 rifle and hijacked a school bus full of children. Finally he released everyone. Last October, police stopped a car in San Diego and found a grenade launcher in the front seat.

The AP found eight times that stolen military weapons were used in civilian shootings or other violent crimes. The cases were found through investigation of investigative and court records and published reports.

Kirby said his office is not aware of any stolen or missing weapons used in civil crimes. The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services said that 22 military weapons were used to commit crimes in the 2010s. But that sum could include weapons that the military has legally sold.

According to the nonprofit Small Arms Survey, the entire US military has an estimated 4-5 million firearms.

Charles Royal is a former army employee who was in charge of the military’s arms register.

“You are dealing with millions of weapons,” said Royal. He added: “But we should have 100 percent (enlightenment), Law. OK, [and] were not allowed to discrepancy on it, but there is so much room for discrepancy.

I am Susan Shand.

The Associated Press reported the story. Susan Shand adapted it for English learning. Bryan Lynn was the editor.


Words in this story

grenadeNo. a small bomb thrown by hand or shot from a pistol

trackv. follow the movements of something

enlightenment No. military activity in which soldiers are sent to obtain information about an operation

enable No. allow

discrepancyNo. a difference between two things that should be the same

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