Inspector General Audits FBI Controls Over Lost or Stolen Weapons, Comments

FBI cap Handgun revolver iStock-ASphotowed 859570532.jpg
Inspector General Audits FBI Controls Over Lost or Stolen Weapons, Comments, File Img iStock-ASphotowed

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In March of 2020, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the United States Department of Justice released an audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) controls over weapons, munitions, and explosives.

The FBI has 57,812 firearms in their inventory.  Extrapolating from the numbers in the survey recorded in the report, the FBI has about 2.8 million rounds of ammunition on hand, relatively small numbers of less than lethal munitions, and small amounts of explosives.

The FBI is not a national police force. They are closer to a national detective, or some say a “secret police” force. Their primary job, as indicated in their name, is investigation, not patrolling, not responding to emergency calls or enforcement.

Given the size of the organization and the number of agents and offices (over 13,000 special agents, 400 domestic offices, 91 foreign offices), the audit shows the agency is keeping very tight control over the firearms it has. The time and resources devoted to this task have been ramped up over the years.

In 2002, the agency was losing 7.6 firearms per month. In 2007, they were losing 3.2 firearms per month. In the latest audit, ending in July 2019, they were losing a bit less than 1 firearm per month.

The summation in the audit lumps all the lost and stolen firearms over nearly four years in one paragraph.  It makes the absolute numbers look bigger. A common way to lie with statistics is to report absolute numbers instead of rates. From the OIG audit:

Lost and Stolen Firearms – We noted that between
September 2016 and July 2019, 38 FBI Special Agents
were disciplined for the loss or theft of 45 FBI-issued
firearms. The FBI suspended 37 and dismissed 1 of the
Special Agents held responsible for the loss or theft. Of
the 45 lost or stolen firearms, 24 have been recovered,
1 of which was used in a crime. We also found that the
FBI did not maintain complete documentation for 8 of
the 45 lost or stolen firearms, including its make,
model, or serial number; and a stolen firearm that was
subsequently recovered more than 1 year ago was still
marked as lost or stolen in AMS.

What is the purpose of the extremely tight controls on firearms at the FBI?

The United States has over 450 million firearms in private hands. One or ten dozen firearms lost by the FBI will not make a measurable difference in the crime rate.

It is all about image.  The FBI has always placed its public image [the present Obama/Biden/FBI leadership attempted takedown of a sitting president not with standing] to be of the highest concern. The Legacy Media in the United States has a fixation on viewing firearms as a great evil, in themselves. The scandal of an FBI firearm being lost and used in a crime is something the FBI culture dreads. The FBI places its public image, and avoidance of media scorn, as perhaps the greatest value it possesses. The FBI is willing to expend vast amounts of manpower and money to prevent a scandal involving an FBI owned firearm and or explosives.

Mentioned, but not enumerated in the audit, are the measures the FBI takes to destroy firearms that come into the possession of the FBI.

Instead of taking the obvious, fiscally responsible method of selling surplus firearms back into commercial channels, the FBI has an elaborate system for destroying firearms.  It is a national scandal to devote so much time and money to destroy valuable assets. Again, it is the image of the FBI and currying favor with the Legacy Media which takes precedence.

As with most government agencies, the FBI has not been concerned with efficiency or conserving money. It is other people's money they are spending.

The check on the system is agents hate doing the administrative scut work of tight inventory controls and logbooks. Some controls are necessary, or agencies would be robbed blind. Allow people free access to unlimited ammunition or gasoline, and your budget will be broken with purchases of ammunition or gasoline to satisfy an unlimited demand.

The answer is to make agents responsible for firearms under their control (and they are) and to log the amount of ammunition they receive (not always done, but steps are being taken to improve the tracking). Ten thousand rounds of ammunition per agent per year is not unreasonable. It is a small percentage of the cost of maintaining a special agent. They should be encouraged to be proficient with their duty weapons.

40 years ago, an FBI agent told me they were encouraged to practice with government ammunition. It was a good policy.

Bureaucracies have a bias toward always increasing controls, and almost never loosening them.

The OIG audit shows the FBI controls over firearms are rigid, some could argue too ridged. Surplus firearms should be sold, not destroyed. Ammunition, for the most part, is handled properly.

Agents' time is better spent investigating crimes instead of conducting multiple, redundant inventories. Please read for yourself the attached audit as it is an interesting read and an educational window into a large Federal agency's handling and supervision of guns, ammo, or explosives. Also, see the OIG's official press release on the audit attached below.

OIG Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Controls Over Weapons, Munitions, And Explosives a20041

Press Release DOJ OIG Releases Report on the FBI’s Controls Over Weapons, Munitions, And Explosives 2020-03-24



About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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StLPro2A
StLPro2A
3 months ago

Just let an FFL Licensee lose firearms, and he is out of business. Rules for thee, but not me.

Chuck
Chuck
3 months ago

The Federal Bureau of Incompetents, like the ATF, have outlived their usefulness to the country. Either fix the huge problems both still have, or dissolve them.

Superman
Superman
3 months ago

The FBI lost its ‘public image’ years ago when they embraced affirmative action hiring/promotions. An the ‘vast amounts of manpower and money’ did not prevent the agent from negligently discharging his firearm while dancing under the influence a few years ago. Their image is best summed up by the word ‘Bozo’.

USA
USA
3 months ago
USA
USA
3 months ago
Reply to  USA

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming”

USA
USA
3 months ago

Things are going to get ugly!

“BREAKING: CPS in L.A. County is trying to remove a child from a parent who tested positive for Coronavirus. The tyranny is already starting. You won’t hear this in the mainstream media.”
https://twitter.com/HowleyReporter/status/1277652893638803456

USA
USA
3 months ago
Reply to  USA

Not a coincidence that they have pedo symbols on their badges and the lack of symbols does not mean they are trust worthy. Pompeo told ya, 60% of children trafficked globally come from America.

GUNFUN
GUNFUN
3 months ago

There should be some safeguards in place to decrease the spending of these government agencies. I heard of a guy that had a full time job in the military. His job? Wasting money. He was in charge of making sure they used up their entire budget so that they would get more next year from congress.

RoyD
RoyD
3 months ago
Reply to  GUNFUN

The part of the Federal Govt I worked for used up the allotted funds every year so we would continue to be funded at least as well as the year ending. I am calling BS on 10,000 rounds per Agent each year. I have to wonder how much is diverted into an Agent’s personal stash for whatever further purpose. Due to my personal experience with them, I do not have much regard for the members of the FBI.

USA
USA
3 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

In case you’re not aware about 4 months ago the FBISIS got removed from the intelligence community. Their access to raw intelligence got severed thus reducing them to a simple federal investigation unit. They can no longer fish through raw intelligence collected by all intel agencies and must have probable cause to submit written requests of intel for specific case related investigations. They’re just cops now and work counter-terrorism. They fucked with Trump and he took one of their nuts and will be back for the other one later.