“An automatic M-16 rifle is missing from one of the Philadelphia Police Department’s main gun-storage units and Commissioner Charles Ramsey has called in federal authorities to investigate,” philly.com reports. “Obviously, this is very, very serious,” Ramsey said. “And believe me, we will get to the bottom of it, one way or another, I guarantee that.” Cops lose gun. Cops go crazy trying to find it before it turns into another Fast and Furious Brian Terry deal. Another day, another example of why cops should not have a monopoly on the use of ballistic force. OK, it is a fully-automatic “assault rifle” that went walkies. But here’s the bit that caught my editorial eye . . .
Ramsey said a regularly scheduled audit last week of 1,356 Colt M-16 rifles stored in a vault at the Philadelphia Police Academy revealed that one of the weapons was missing.
And the Philly po-po have an arsenal of machine guns because . . .
The cache of Vietnam-era automatic M-16s was given by the military to police, who are converting the weapons to semiautomatic AR-15s, Ramsey said. Indications are that the missing weapon had not yet been converted, he said.
The missing machine gun—and the fact that its new owners don’t know whether or not it’s been modded to semi-auto—may make Commissioner Ramsey look incompetent but . . . uh . . . it must be said: what an idiot.
The worst-case scenario, Ramsey said, is that the gun may have been stolen by one of his officers. In that case, Ramsey said, he’d do everything possible to assure that the thief gets time in a federal prison – even though he wasn’t quite sure what criminal statute would be applicable.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said, “but whatever the hell it is, we’re gonna use it.”
Ramsey said that the department has “never had anything like this happen to us before,” and that he was not aware of another missing weapon in his five years with the department.
However, in 2011, following a Daily News investigation into allegations of impropriety in the department’s Firearms Identification Unit, an audit by the U.S. Department of Justice conducted at Ramsey’s request found that eight guns were missing from that unit’s storage department.
The Pentagon’s 1033 Program—transferring billions of dollars worth of “excess” military hardware to over 17k police departments all over the country—provided Philly’s 1,356 (formerly 1,357) M-16s. The guns are (were?) kept in 800-pound crates in the evidence room.
I wonder how much other former military hardware has “seeped” from cop shops to criminals—excluding the aforementioned officially sanctioned ATF Fast and Furious anti-gun running gun running operation.
And it sure seems that the cops aren’t as out-gunned as they’ve said.