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US gun regulator unaware of own weapons: Report

US gun regulator unaware of own weapons: Report

US gun regulator unaware of own weapons: Report
April 03
14:17 2018

The US agency in charge of regulating guns and explosives as well as fighting gun-related crimes has no idea how many bullets, chemical weapons and other potentially deadly devices it has in possession, an internal report has found.

The report, released on Monday, found that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), held ammunition inventory logs that were inadequate and inaccurate.

The study was carried out, the non-political watchdog within the Department of Justice, which houses the ATF.

The ATF’s inspector general’s physical inspection at 13 sites revealed that at least 31,000 rounds of ammunition had not been listed in the organization’s logs while there were also problems with the way it was storing some bullets in its offices.

Michael Horowitz, the IG, warned that the number could be much higher due to the ATF’s high number of branches around the county.

“Given that the ATF has over 275 offices, the number of unaccounted ammunition rounds is likely much higher,” said Horowitz. “When inventories are inaccurate, there is increased risk that ammunition may be lost, stolen, or misplaced without detection.”

The report also found that some of the explosive materials the ATF had in possession were stored in different quantities that those mentioned in inventory logs or the invoices issued by vendors.

Lack of strong physical controls over “less lethal munitions” like flash-bang grenades and chemical agents was another high-risk issue at the ATF that the IG warned may make the materials susceptible to theft or unauthorized use.

Horowitz’s office concluded in the report that the ATF had easy access to seized firearms and other evidence, creating the risk “that the evidence may be lost, misplaced, stolen, or otherwise compromised.”

The report hailed the ATF’s noticeable improvement in exerting control over its own arsenal in the past decade. It also warned that between 2014 and 2017 the ATF had reported at least 26 instances of lost, stolen or missing firearms.

The news comes amid heated debate over the need for stricter gun debate laws in the US following a surge in gun-related mass killings.

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