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‘Fast and Furious’ style lack of accountability with guns program at U.S. Park Police

“During our review, we found approximately 1,400 unassigned weapons, which included extra service handguns, rifles, shotguns, and items awaiting destruction.”─IG for Dept. of Interior

U.S. Park Police on duty. (Photo: U.S. Government)A tipster led the Inspector General of the Dept. of the Interior to investigate management of the U.S. Park Police firearms program.

The result of that investigation was a report pointing to a ‘Fast and Furious’ style lack of accountability.

What the IG found was a disturbing lack of accounting for weapons transferred from other agencies. According to a June 27 report, could not account for “hundreds of weapons” including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. A number of the weapons weren't even appropriate for the USPP officers to carry.

The IG noted the agency’s “theme of inaction and indifference” and a “lackadaisical attitude towards firearms management.”

The inventory protocol was so flawed, the IG investigators basically gave up trying to “prove or disprove the allegations” from the tipster, finally settling for offering suggestions for improvement.

The report disclosed that staff at all levels didn’t know how many weapons they “maintained.” There was, however, a small arsenal.

The IG discovered more than 1,400 extra weapons, including “477 military-style automatic and semiautomatic rifles.”

The USPP comprises approximately 640 sworn officers.

Inspectors noted 198 handguns transferred from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in January, 2013. One USPP employee said these weapons were not a “compact version” of the weapons officers carry as he presumably believed when USPP received them.

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service had transferred three Colt submachine guns. Also found were 20 MI Garand rifles and 4 Tommy guns.

Much rhetoric has come forth from President Barack Obama and appointees like former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton about expanding gun control among the populace. Ironically the worst examples of lack of responsibility for guns have come directly from the administration, including the Fast and Furious scandal and the IG report on the USPP.

The IG concluded:

“We found credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing.”

[Primary Source: Review of U.S. Park Police Weapons Accountability Program; Office of Inspector General, Dept. of the Interior. June 27, 2013.]

(Filed by Kay B. Day/June 28, 2013)

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