The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can’t keep track of the ammunition in its possession, a recent government audit showed.
In a video, see below, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz discusses how the agency lost count of, or as he put it, “understated,” at least 31,000 rounds of ammo between FYs 2014 and 2017.
“Based on the results of our physical inventory of ammunition at 13 sites, we found that the ammunition tracking records were understated by almost 31,000 rounds. Given that ATF has over 275 offices, the quantity of ammunition that is unaccounted nationwide is likely much greater,” states the report.
Bear in mind, the auditors only examined 13 sites. The agency has over 275 offices. Let’s do the math on this to get an average round count missing per office, and then a total number of rounds presumed to be missing for all locations.
Thirty-one-thousand divided by 13 equals about 2,384 rounds. Now, 2,384 multiplied by 275 offices equals 655,600 rounds. Even if we want to be conservative, and round down, we’re still looking at over a half a million rounds! Eeeek!
That’s not good. Not at all. “When inventories are inaccurate, there is increased risk that ammunition may be lost, stolen, or misplaced without detection,” as Horowitz noted. Another way of saying they could end up in the hands of very bad people, like known Mexican drug traffickers.
Maybe we should cut the ATF some slack. Maybe they just had a bad few years and this is an aberration. Right? ATF, after all, has an impeccable track record when it comes to monitoring firearms and ammo… Wait… No, they don’t? Operation Fast and Furious? What’s Operation Fast and Furious?
Forget Fast and Furious for a moment. The audit indicates that the ATF has had problems keeping track of ammunition for the last 15 years!!! In other words, this isn’t an aberration. This is the norm. ATF, the regulatory body charged with keeping gun owners and gun dealers in line, can’t even keep its own house in order!
“We found that ATF’s controls over its ammunition inventories remain inadequate and do not provide accurate inventory counts,” states the report. “This is particularly concerning considering that prior Treasury and Department of Justice (DOJ) OIG audits – the first of which was over 15 years ago – identified and ATF developed policies to address control weaknesses over its ammunition inventories.”
“Specifically, we found that ATF is not adequately tracking ammunition, which is considered a sensitive item,” it continues.
Who knows where these missing rounds are ending up.
Oh, the report also addressed firearms. Over the past three years, ATF “reported 26 instances of lost, stolen or missing firearms.” The audit said that the “monthly rate of loss decreased by over 55 percent since a prior 2008 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit.”
SEE ALSO: Holder’s shocking Fast & Furious email
Clearly, those reports don’t account for the 2,000 rifles the ATF handed out to Mexican gangsters as part of Operation Fast and Furious. I guess why would they? They weren’t lost or stolen or missing, they were gifts to the cartels. Makes one wonder what other gifts were omitted from the audits. Remember, this is a government agency auditing a government agency. Sorta like asking two wolves to guard a hen house.
Yeah, if you can’t tell, I’m bitter toward ATF. Between gunrunning gone bad, these sloppy ammo-tracking practices, maltreatment of women in the workplace, and the sudden decision to ban bump stocks despite prior determinations by the agency explicitly stating they’re a “firearm part,” not a “machinegun,” I’m not its biggest fan.