You gotta love “safe storage” laws. I don’t. I don’t like the government telling me how to store my firearms any more than I like them telling me how many guns I can buy or what features my gun may not have. If anything I like safe storage laws less. While probable cause requirements should protect me from a “surprise gun safety inspection,” tell that to gun owners in the UK, who are legally obliged to endure random police raids. I mean, inspections. Besides, if anyone should be regularly indeed routinely inspected for improper or insufficient firearms storage it’s our law enforcement agencies . . .
A fully automatic M-16 rifle went missing from the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, probably sometime before 2006, according to an investigation by that office.
The U.S. Department of Defense provided 20 M-16s to the sheriff’s office in 1998. Except for a few training exercises, the rifles sat in storage until 2006, when they were issued to deputies.
But there’s no record of the missing rifle having been issued, according to a report from the sheriff’s own detectives.
“This investigation has been inconclusive as to where the missing weapon is,” a detective wrote in his report’s conclusion. “The weapon is listed” in a nationwide law enforcement database “and if that is how it is located, then a criminal investigation will commence.”
If you or I lost a fully-automatic M-16 there’d be hell to pay. And I don’t think sltrib.com would be as understanding as they are here. Anyway, judging by the tone of the sheriff’s quote at sltrib.com, the person responsible for stealing – there I said it – the giggle-switch-equipped M16 will feel the full force of the law.
Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson said last week it’s only a matter of time before the rifle is found. And anyone who knowingly possesses the rifle will be prosecuted, even if that person is or was a peace officer.
“If it was procured by somebody who found it,” Richardson said, “they are in possession of a stolen rifle and they’re going to suffer consequences for it.”
They will? They will! As for Sheriff’s department . . .
When a March 2013 audit revealed one M-16 in Davis County was missing, all of Utah was suspended from the 1033 Program, according documents the state provided to The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah was reinstated the next month, when Davis County adopted a corrective-action plan.
I’m sorry. Corrective plan or not, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies around the country have consistently shown themselves incapable of storing their firearms responsibly. Even a cursory Google search of “lost police firearms” shows that this is tip-of-the-iceberg stuff. E.g., Park Police lost track of thousands of weapons, inspector general’s report says and Agency That Purposely Lost 2500 Guns in Mexico Pushing New Federal Regulations For Lost Guns.
So I reckon that all those agencies benefitting from the Pentagon’s 1033 Program (a.k.a., Police Militarization R Us) should be restricted to one-gun-a-month per agency purchasing restrictions, with all firearms modified to New York SAFE Act-compliant standards using ammunition magazines holding no more than ten rounds. And any agency that loses even a single gun should be forced to display an IGOTD trophy in a public area for a period of no less than a year.
That is all.