Recently, the Associated Press reported a shocking statistic. At least 1,900 weapons have gone missing from the military from 2010-2019. The DOD managed to recover some of the weapons. However, some were not even known to be missing until they were recovered by law enforcement as part of a separate investigation.
The AP has identified at least eight specific instances where stolen military firearms were used in violent crimes. Additionally, the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services reported that 22 weapons, purchased by the DOD, were used during felonious acts in the 2010s.
The total weapons lost during this time period amounts to 1,179 rifles, 694 handguns, and 74 machine guns. Furthermore, 36 grenade launchers, 34 rocket launchers, 25 mortars were missing. As well as, 11 shotguns, and 7 weapons listed as “others.”
The Army had the highest number of missing firearms. By far.
The Army accounted for over 1,500 of the missing weapons. Moreover, there have been speculation of an attempt to cover this up. In their report, the AP stated, “The Army sought to suppress information on missing weapons and gave misleading numbers that contradict internal memos.”
The Air Force was the only branch to not release their numbers. Citing they had not “fully process” the last request from over a year ago. The Freedom of Information Act usually does not take that long.
Mark Ridley, the former deputy director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), spoke to the AP about this issue. Ridley stated there is also a problem with parts of weapons going missing. Specifically, trigger assemblies that can turn standard semi-auto AR-15 rifles fully automatic. The NCIS spends a large amount of time investigating these instances. However, the investigations rarely lead to convictions.
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