Audit Shows ATF Can’t Keep Track of Ammo, 31K Rounds Missing

Thirteen ATF sites are missing a total of 31,000 rounds. The ATF has over 275 offices, which means that the agency could be missing hundreds of thousands of rounds.

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?

SEE ALSO: ATF Comes Under Fire for Treatment of Women in Workplace

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.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Bobs your uncle April 16, 2018, 2:01 pm

    Really? there must be that much rolling around the floor of my truck.

  • kjj1564 April 10, 2018, 7:27 pm

    Probably stealing and selling the ammo, kind of like when a employee steels office supply s! Yea -Yea that’s it, its ok its only office supply’s nobody will miss it. Every body does it!!!

  • 95bravo April 9, 2018, 12:04 pm

    I don’t mean to ask a stupid question but how does a government agency give Mexican Drug Cartels weapons? By ATF&E for crying out loud!
    If I did that I’d make the 6 o’clock news! They would put me under the jail!

  • Rus H April 8, 2018, 10:57 am

    31,000 rds isn’t that much for a large agency – no surprise. Not sure why this is even news.

  • picrthis April 7, 2018, 2:37 pm

    no doubt just ammunition they gave to Mexico, they’d rather say it’s missing than say they just gave it to them like last time around

  • Codiak April 6, 2018, 2:25 pm

    31,000rounds? That’s nothing. I have more than that just in 5.56mm……Big deal.

  • WC April 6, 2018, 12:27 pm

    Pass out the ammo on a one for one – for each empty case you turn in you get one loaded round back

    • Michael April 7, 2018, 4:56 pm

      That works if your shooting revolvers but any other type of firearm send brass flying. An ATF office can get under supplied in time no matter how well they are policing up their brass. Nice try though.

  • Altoids April 6, 2018, 9:23 am

    Wonder what else is missing?
    Anyone inventory the C4 stockpiles?
    After all, they are BATFE – the E = Explosives

  • Danny April 6, 2018, 9:11 am

    A neighbor is a retired FBI agent. He has enough ammo of various calibers to last our neighborhood a lifetime. He “brought home” ammo calibers he didn’t have firearms for, so he bought guns just to shoot it up. We; the neighborhood shooting group, estimated he had over 100,000 round stashed.
    But who’s counting?

    • carter April 6, 2018, 5:17 pm

      the tax payers who dont appreciate government employees, like your friend, stealing property we paid for when issued to law enforcement agencies. that’s who ought to cars. good for your little neighborhood shooting club, bad for the overall problem of waste and fraud throughout federal government.

  • jim April 6, 2018, 8:25 am

    why not check the hours they work?

  • Kevin April 6, 2018, 7:31 am

    i agree with Robert, ‘lost’ inventory can have anything done with it. It will eventually get written off the books as lost and then it can be used for anything such as the cartels needing lots of ammo for all those free guns they got!

  • Steve Warren April 6, 2018, 7:07 am

    So… if a gunshop did this? The ATF has ruined a lot of good peoples lives over stuff like this. There should be a house cleaning and some people need to be prosecuted. Dran the dang swamp already!

  • Robert April 6, 2018, 5:40 am

    They are building up an untraceable stock for the next Fast and Furious.
    The DOJ is a fares.

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