U.S. Park Police Lose Track of Guns. Lots and Lots of Guns.

Reason 24/7ReasonGovernment officials are awfully concerned about how we mere private citizens manage our firearms. Connecticut recently tightened already stringent rules about gun storage, and politicians are full of ideas about trigger locks, documentation, and who can touch your guns and for how long without committing a felony. But when it comes to keeping track of their own things-that-go-bang, jut how do government officials stack up? Pretty goddamned piss poor, it turns out.

Responding to an anonymous tip saying that some of the U.S. Park Police's military-style weapons had gone missing, the Office Inspector General for the Department of the Interior recently took a look at how savvy the agency is about keeping an eye on its guns, and issued a report that amounts to a collective, "holy shit!" Inventoried guns are missing, guns were stumbled over that aren't in the inventory, and there's a long-term lack of effort to account for the sorts of devices that send the likes of Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer into hissy fits.

From Politico:

U.S. Park Police couldn’t account for hundreds of weapons in its inventory, according to a new Inspector General report, which found that the agency’s firearms could be vulnerable to "theft or misuse."

Investigating an anonymous tip alleging the USPP couldn’t account for military-style rifles and its weapons program, the Interior Department’s inspector general made unannounced visits to weapons storage facilities in Washington, D.C., New York, California and Georgia, according to the report released Thursday.

The investigation found approximately 1,400 weapons, including handguns, rifles and shotguns, that weren’t listed in inventories.

In one instance, the IG report says, an officer working President Barack Obama’s January Inauguration kept a semiautomatic rifle and stored it at home without permission.

In another example, the IG found 198 weapons at the USPP’s Anacostia facility that had come from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that were never marked in an inventory and were supposed to be destroyed or taken apart.

The inspector general said it found problems in 2009, and despite internal memos in 2009 and 2011, problems continued.

The actual report, Review of U.S. Park Police Weapons Accountability Program (PDF), is, if anything, harsher than the Politico writeup suggests. How bad was the mess with the park cops? Among other things, the OIG found records-keeping so bad, it was impossible to figure out how many guns were missing, even as they discovered hundreds of firearms that had no official existence. All of this on a force that has 640 sworn officers.

Problems were so widespread that "[a]fter detecting the accountability and systemic management and oversight failure of the firearms inventory OIG discontinued its efforts to prove or disprove the allegations and altered our plan of action by reviewing USPP firearms management."

Ultimately, said the report, pointing to the office's past attempts to convince the Park Police to stop leaving guns in the shitter and taking them home as souvenirs:

This report further underscores the decade-long theme of inaction and indifference of USPP leadership and management at all levels. Basic tenets of property management and supervisory oversight are missing in their simplest forms. Commanders, up to and including the Chief of Police, have a lackadaisical attitude toward firearms management. Historical  evidence indicates that this indifference is a product of years of inattention to administrative detail and management principles.

But, remember, only law enforcememt officers are professional enough to handle such weapons.

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  • Ken Shultz||

    "An officer working President Barack Obama’s January Inauguration kept a semiautomatic rifle and stored it at home without permission."

    Semiautomatic?

    OMG it fires every time someone pulls the trigger!

  • Tejicano||

    "it fires every time someone pulls the trigger!"

    You obviously do not read the news. Police firearms generally discharge of their own volition to obviate any responsibility that might otherwise be borne by the handler or the department which might happen to employ said officer. Nobody actually pulls the trigger.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I mean, for goodness' sake...

    I don't understand why they let anybody (much less park rangers) have these semiautomatic things if they're gonna go off every time someone pulls the trigger!

  • Paul.||

    USPP firearms management

    This will be usable as a joke phrase in the future, I just know it.

  • Rich||

    U.S. Park Police couldn’t account for hundreds of weapons in its inventory; however, the investigation found approximately 1,400 weapons ... that weren’t listed in inventories.

    So, on average, they're good.

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • Warrren||

    -@200 +@1400 = +@1200

  • Warrren||

    Yes squirrels that is an e-mail address.

  • ||

    People are a product of their environment. It's only because of the racist lax gun culture of the United States that these officers were brought up in which made them fail to take the issue of weapon accountability seriously.

    Plus, if guns were outlawed for all civilians, it would be easier to find the missing ones if they made it to the streets. Unless they make it to the streets of Mexico, that is, because of Bush.

  • ||

    This is so true that it hit me right in all the feels, bro.

  • Agammamon||

    ". . . there's a long-term lack of effort to account for the sorts of devices that send the likes of Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer into hissy fits."

    So *this* is where all those guns in Mexico are coming from!

  • Agammamon||

    "This report further underscores the decade-long theme of inaction and indifference of USPP leadership and management at all levels."

    It seems that the less your police force actually needs firearms the less likely they are to provide any accountability for them. And the more likely they'll order more, and more types of, weapons they don't need.

    As a counter-example - a few years ago I did a field exercise as part of a CB battalion. We had our weapons trucked out to the exercise site, signed for each weapon we had custody of personally, and had some serious accountability for these weapons - to the point that each company (and platoon and squad) had a list of their unit's weapon's # and who it belonged to in case one was found unattended.

    And at the end you signed them back over to the armorer before you were no longer personally responsible for the weapon. Heck, one exercise it was discovered that the armorer screwed up his inventory and all ops stopped while the weapons were accounted for - he had to stand tall in front of the old man, the only reason he didn't lose a rank was because he was a chief petty officer.

    And that's in the fething *Navy*.

  • Warrren||

    The Navy is the one with the boats right?

  • Agammamon||

    Ships actually - the Army has more *boats* than we do.

  • Warrren||

    Scottish, Irish- what's the difference?

  • Generic Stranger||

    Ships require more officers.

  • Ted S.||

    You only call the boats "ships" so that you can have more officers.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Right. "Require" was sarcastic.

  • sgs||

    What a stupid thing to pretend is true.

    Ships are boats and boats are ships. The only real difference is between the people who aren't pathetic and the people who care about the difference, which is made up and doesn't exist.

  • SweatingGin||

    WTF are you talking about?

    Boats are small vessels that sink (intentionally). Ships are not-small vessels that better not sink.

    (no navy background besides an AVSVAB test here).

  • ||

    Whoa, next you're gonna tell me there's a difference between clips and magazines.

  • Agammamon||

    While I imagine that no-one is paying attention to this thread anymore - its a matter of size and purpose.

    Just like, in the modern day, the main difference between a destroyer and cruiser come down to size and intended purpose.

    Boats are small, and have little to no self-support capacity, ie they can't stay out overnight.

    Ships are large and impressive and you can put a boat on a ship, but do it the other way and you've got a problem.

  • ||

    What about clipper ships and magazine boats?

  • Ted S.||

    They'll pay attention to it until Baylen's backdated 8:00 AM Saturday post shows up.

  • Agammamon||

    And why is that the "Share" pull-down on the H&R page opens up when you mouse-over but I have to *click* it (more than once) to get it to close?

  • ||

    It likes you! Like a tiny Warty.

  • playa manhattan||

    "Ultimately, said the report, pointing to the office's past attempts to convince the Park Police to stop leaving guns in the shitter and taking them home as souvenirs:"

    Taking a rock from the beach is a souvenir. Taking an AR-15 from your employer is felony embezzlement.

  • jester||

    Taking a rock from the beach could be a felony if it turns out to be an artifact or contains a fossil. In fact my guess is that taking anything from a national park is a felony.

  • ||

    It didn't work out for the Bradys.

  • jester||

    Bobby was taking an artifact, a small tiki, from a gravesite. This is clearly a felony. I don't think their bad luck amounted to the same as Bobby going to the slammer for a year and paying a huge fine. The ancient Hawaiian gods need to update what they consider bad luck. Of course that was 1972.

  • SIV||

    If the NPSP realized how many guns weren't in inventory they probably would have been selling them left and right. The ol' "law enforcement discount".

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Ah, another item for that very thick file "only agents of the government are responsible enough to be trusted with firearms".

  • jester||

    They should hire a bunch of squeamish schoolmarms. Hell, those fine ladies can even keep track of guns disguised as as sandwiches or pieces of notebook paper.

  • Acosmist||

    dat alt text

  • playa manhattan||

    I'll go looking for the link...

  • playa manhattan||

  • Warrren||

    Boom dickhead shot!

  • SweatingGin||

    I lol'ed

  • Anonymous Coward||

    First question: What is the justification for park rangers having automatic or semiautomatic firearms?

    Second question: Who was responsible for securing the firearms?

    Third question: When did the USPP become aware that the weapons were missing?

    Fourth question: Where were the weapons supposed to be located when they did go missing?

    Fifth question: Where did the weapons go?

    I get the sneaking suspicion that some half-clever bureaucrat got it into his head that gun smuggling under the government's shadow was a good way to supplement their income.

  • Agammamon||

    Another question to add to the list - how do you end up with twice as many unaccounted for weapons in your armory than you have actual employees. That's *in addition to* the weapons actually on the inventory list.

  • LarryA||

    What is the justification for park rangers having automatic or semiautomatic firearms?

    To be fair, park rangers do spend a lot of solo time way out in the middle of nature. Backup can be hours away.

    Which would lead reasonable people to be extra careful with survival equipment.

    "Time out, Mama Bear. I think I left my bang-stick on the toilet roll."

  • Agammamon||

    Park *rangers* do - park *police* not so much.

  • jdkchem||

    The park *police* are the ones on the BW Parkway handing out tickets like condoms at a San Fransisco bath house on Friday night.

  • ||

    Fuck you, that's who, when, and where.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "First question: What is the justification for park rangers having automatic or semiautomatic firearms?"

    I'm goin' with--in the Sierras? The parks are full of pot fields and people harvesting them.

    I go up there all the time, and it's one of the things I always think about. Bears and pot growers.

  • ||

    "Bears growing pot: it's our nightmare scenario."

  • Ken Shultz||

    Or God forbid they start smoking the stuff. They're already ravenous!

    Black bears with the munchies--can you imagine?

  • Ted S.||

    SLD that pot shouldn't be illegal, of course.

  • ThomasD||

    Whether the crop is otherwise legal or not really is irrelevant. National parks are not intended to be used for private agriculture.

  • Whahappan?||

    Not really irrelevant. If it was legal, they could grow it openly on their own land, no need for hiding it in National parks.

  • Rrabbit||

    Fifth question: Where did the weapons go?

    In typical government ineptitude, to implement the right to arm bears.

  • PapayaSF||

  • Warrren||

    This is both sad and hi-larious.

  • SIV||

    More the latter. The bird gave its rare life for sustainable green energy.

  • Harvard||

    Care to guess what the greatest threat to rare California Condors might be?

  • SIV||

    I hate condors. There is no true wild population. They are all domesticated animals now. If ever a species deserved to die...

  • Tejicano||

    I wonder how many fiction writers get discouraged when they read stories like this. They spend a serious amount of time (or should) weighing how realistic their story and its details would seem to the average Joe or Jane - only to see that the real world often more closely parallels Month Python than the rules they feel compelled to abide by.

  • SweatingGin||

    Daily Mail imitates Douglas Adams?

  • jester||

    Clearly another isolated incident. Birds never hit wind turbines. Wind turbines do too much to stop AGW to ever do anything like this. Just like oil palm plantations never lead to deforestation because they create biofuels that keep us away from dirty Big Oil!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Birds that can't fly around wind turbines deserve to go extinct.

  • ||

    According to wiki it's not actually rare in it's range. It was a long, long way from there though.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Remember this is the same agency that bodyslams people for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial and handcuffs people for distributing leaflets at the Liberty Bell.

    If there were a competition for most disgusting federal agency, I'd have them deep in my bracket.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Don't they get credit for solving the Vincent Foster murder-by-suicide?

  • Generic Stranger||

    They still have to compete with BATFECES and the FBI. That's some pretty stiff competition. I've yet to hear about a park services sniper gunning down a woman holding a child, or burning buildings full of women and children to the ground.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You might have to make some kind of pound-for-pound adjustment. That they aren't called in to kill citizens isn't their fault.

  • ||

    A website for submitting names and pictures of ex-vegans to shame them and ask them to commit suicide.

    Not just celebrities. You can submit anybody. Just in case you didn't they were fascist enough.

  • Irish||

    I can't stop laughing. Look at the actual list. Some of the information they provide is hilarious.

    Cody Andrews
    Orange County
    Drummer of milltant vegan straight edge band
    California sellout

    Chris Kresser
    Berkeley
    Vegan turned paleo guy. Runs a website about paleo topics. Now eats pure murder.

    tsurogi oni
    went from being vegan to being obsessed with all the meat he can eat. He has become cruel and cunning.

    I'm almost positive that this is a parody.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I guess I am technically an ex-vegan.

  • ||

    This can't be real, but I hope it is.

    Lydia Cruz
    Seattle


    FULL DESCRIPTION
    She was a gluten-free vegan for 5 YEARS and used to be an inspiration to her young vegan listeners and radio fans. Then, one day, she suddenly decided that she enjoys MURDERING INNOCENT ANIMALS and devouring their flesh more than being a role-model. Now she parades around town in her yoga pants, eating entire packages of bacon on every street corner as a middle finger to honest vegans everywhere. Psh, Sell-out.

    If your're a gluten free vegan, WTF do you eat?

  • Tman||

    meat Wheat is murder

    Tasty, tasty murder.

  • anon||

    Gummy bears and scotch?

  • LarryA||

    Don't ask what I was looking for, but if you search, you can find vegan condoms.

  • PapayaSF||

    Great link. I know it seems like a parody, but I'd bet it's real. Vegans can be really annoying and defensive.

  • db||

    Do they use a map with crosshairs?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Are the ex-vegans going to federal court to get the Web site shut down?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • ||

    And then gets brought around as a friend by some stupid guy who occasionally eats off of it?

  • Atanarjuat||

    “I ran over and that’s when I smelled it. I thought it was poop. I stuck my finger in it.”

    Um, if ya thought it was poop, why did you stick your finger in it?

  • ||

    "Taste like dog shit?"

    "Yech, taste like dog shit."

    "Good thing we don't step in it."

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • ||

    Good Morning Vietnam Reason.

  • Generic Stranger||

  • ||

    Wait, I had something good for this...

  • Generic Stranger||

    Sumething, something, DANGER ZONE!

  • ||

    All I've had today is, like, six gummy bears and some scotch.

  • Rich||

    Have a Slim Jim and some Pepto-Bismol, and you're ready for action!

  • Generic Stranger||

    I know, you left like half a package of gummy bears all over the place.

    YOU WANT ANTS? BECAUSE THIS IS HOW WE GET ANTS.

  • ||

    GS, un hombre real debe saber cocinar.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    In another example, the IG found 198 weapons at the USPP’s Anacostia facility that had come from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that were never marked in an inventory and were supposed to be destroyed or taken apart.

    Anyone want to take a bet that ATF transferred an even 200 firearms originally?

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    an officer working President Barack Obama’s January Inauguration kept a semiautomatic rifle and stored it at home without permission

    Is that what the kids are calling "Stealing" nowadays?

  • SDN||

    I suspect that report doesn't know the half of it. You see, they will also have a stock of spare parts to make repairs. And they have to keep track of them. Why? Because if they replace, say, the barrel, that changes the ballistic fingerprint of the gun. And you wouldn't want someone to be able to replace the barrel, shoot someone, and put the old one back on.

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