Report: Dozens of ATF Agents' Guns Lost or Stolen in Past Five Years
A new report is shining a light on some forgetful federal agents, who are said to have left their weapons in bathrooms, on top of cars and in glove compartments. The incidents were outlined in internal ATF reports from the past five years obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through a FOIA request.
Other incidents include firearms left behind at a hospital, in bathroom stalls, on a plane and outside a movie theater, the records show. One document states that ATF agents are supposed to store their weapons in "secured, locked locations" when they are not in their immediate possession.
Here's more from the report:
In December 2009, two 6-year-old boys spotted an agent's loaded ATF Smith & Wesson .357 on a storm sewer grate in Bettendorf, Iowa. The agent lived nearby and later said he couldn't find his gun for days but didn't bother reporting it — until it hit the local newspaper.
In Los Angeles in 2011, an agent went out to a bar drinking with other agents and friends, reportedly consuming four alcoholic beverages. The next morning he woke up and realized his ATF-issued Glock was gone. It was not found.
All of the agents' names are blacked out on the reports, which do not say if the agents were disciplined. It is clear that agency rules were not followed in many of the incidents, which show at least 49 guns were lost or stolen nationwide between 2009 and 2013.
Spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun said that of the 19 firearms lost -- as opposed to stolen -- between 2009 and 2013, 13 were "recovered shortly after they were reported lost." Further, she said the cases have "significantly declined."
With nearly 2,400 agents on the force, she noted the percentage of lost or stolen firearms was less than 1 percent.
"ATF has a stringent firearms and weapons policy for properly securing and storing firearms for which its almost 2,400 agents must adhere," she said.
Martha MacCallum went over the findings with Ellison Barber of the Washington Free Beacon. Watch their discussion above.