ATF loses dozens of guns

For some agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), losing their guns is just like misplacing the keys to their cars, according to a new report.


A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel investigation revealed Tuesday that dozens of weapons at the agency charged with cracking down on illegal gun trafficking have been misplaced over the last five years. The newspaper found at least 49 instances in which the guns of ATF agents were either lost or stolen between 2009 and 2013.

The agents were not following government protocols when they lost their personal firearms in many cases, according to the report. Guns have been lost in bathroom stalls, hospitals, movie theaters, and even on a plane. Often times, the agents forget their weapons after placing them on top of their cars, under the front seat, and in glove compartments.

In one example, two 6-year-old boys found an agent's gun in a storm sewer gate in Iowa in December 2009, after the agent lost it and failed to file a report. In another case, an agent went drinking with friends in Los Angeles in 2011 and realized the next morning he had lost his gun.