View Full Version : ATF "loses" 76 weapons. Oops?

September 17th, 2008, 08:56 AM

WASHINGTON - 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.

In a Sept. 10 letter responding to the audit, ATF acting Director Michael J. Sullivan said his agency "agrees or partially agrees with most of the recommendations."

"We are revising our procedures of reporting losses of weapons or laptops," Sullivan said.

The audit looked at ATF's inventory of weapons, laptops, ammunition and explosives between Oct. 1, 2002 and Aug. 31, 2007.

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.

Investigators could not conclude what was on 398 of 418 missing laptops except that few were encrypted. That means any sensitive material on the laptops could have been exposed.

Moreover, "we found that ATF did not regularly attempt to determine whether the lost, stolen or missing laptop computers contained sensitive or classified information," the audit said.

But few only 18 of 7,500 ATF laptops were authorized to hold classified information.

Compared to weapons loss rates for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration, the ATF misplaced almost twice as many guns. The audit found that the ATF lost .52 weapons per 1,000 employees, compared to .29 at the FBI and .28 at the DEA.

Fine's investigators concluded there were proper controls and oversight of explosives in ATF's possession, and good security for ammunition. However, nine of 20 ATF field offices surveyed did not have proper accounting methods for ammunition.

September 17th, 2008, 09:10 AM
So who is watching the watcher's ? :sad20:

September 17th, 2008, 09:24 AM
IMO if they lose one single gun they have an internal problem that needs fixing - same goes for the FBI and DEA

September 17th, 2008, 09:30 AM
dealers have lost their license for loosing that many guns. . . . .

September 17th, 2008, 09:35 AM
It is especially troubling that that ATF's rate of loss for weapons was nearly double that of the FBI and DEA...

This is the line that really bothers me. So they all loose guns and laptops, just the ATF does it more then the others?!?

September 17th, 2008, 09:37 AM
no only do they lose them - but the lost guns get used in crimes

September 17th, 2008, 10:21 AM
The irony would be if these were firearms that were seized as the result of a dealer losing their license for having sloppy record keeping.

Jim Sr
September 17th, 2008, 10:31 AM
dealers have lost their license for loosing, the paperwork on, that many guns. . . . . I fixed it for you ! :thumbsup: :innocent0

September 17th, 2008, 10:42 AM
So, does this mean that the people at fault will suffer the same punishment as Sandy Abrams? :innocent0

September 17th, 2008, 11:14 AM
Well I guess the fact that two of the stolen guns were used in crimes negates any argument they can make about they weren't really lost, it's just a record keeping issue.

The solution is simple accountability. At my agency if you lose a laptop :rolleyes:, or you do something stupid like leave it on your car seat overnight and it gets stolen, you have to pay for it. Guess what, at $5K nobody loses their laptops. If you let your firearm get stolen, well I can only think of one word that would apply and it's BOHICA.

September 17th, 2008, 11:30 AM
How could you not know if a laptop that is missing had classified information on it?

September 17th, 2008, 08:03 PM
In the case of Valley Guns I believe he "lost" something like 200 guns over the years and when the ATF audited him and found out, I believe he faced some very stiff legal penalties, not to mention loosing his business (as he should). Wonder if they will treat their own agency with the same type of swift "iron fist" justice?

September 17th, 2008, 08:41 PM
It will never happen, at most there will be alot of transfers and or demotions, if even that.

novus collectus
September 17th, 2008, 09:32 PM
According to the ATF trace data for guns used in crimes recovered in DC last year, 28 of them were from DC. How much do you want to bet they were all stolen from law enforcement.

September 18th, 2008, 12:36 AM
Didn't Gilbert Guns "lose" 1 gun to lose their license?

novus collectus
September 18th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Didn't Gilbert Guns "lose" 1 gun to lose their license?
They lost their license?

hole punch
October 1st, 2008, 09:00 AM
Didn't Gilbert Guns "lose" 1 gun to lose their license?

Gilbert's is still selling guns

Or maybe they're just all from Gilbert's own "personal collection"