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I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this is just another mis-titled ATF Death Watch post. No no no. The missing guns in question here aren’t the ones the feds intentionally “lost” to the Me-hi-can cartels. No, these are federal employee duty guns that – oopsie! – just seem to have gone missing. Left in bathrooms, on car trunks…whatever. So let’s see…

Between 2006 and 2008, excluding guns that were stolen, the busy little bees at DHS lost – actually lost – 179 guns. That’s about 60 each year. Or more than one a week.

The FBI? They’ve had their problems, too. Between 2002 and 2005, they mislaid 160 or 40 a year. Not as big a ‘shrinkage’ rate as DHS, but not chopped liver, either.

And both agencies have grown significantly in the last few years. One can only guess how many guns have tumbled down the rabbit hole since the government really began growing like topsy in 2008.

There are about 100,000 FFLs in the US. Three guesses what the consequences of this would be if any 1,000 of them lost guns at rates approaching that of DHS and the FBI.

Look, stuff happens. These are people we’re dealing with, after all. No one expects them to be perfect. These are public employees, after all.

What’s so galling, though, is that the same faceless bureaucracies that demand such uncompromising high standards from private sector gun dealers and owners – and that won’t flinch at revoking concealed carry or even ownership rights – can’t seem to uphold those same standards themselves.

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  1. You know the type. The person who is always losing their keys, … wallet, … sunglasses, … pens, etc. These are valuable, important things that one carries around all the time but some people don’t treat them like they’re important or valuable. How many people do you know who walk into your house with their car keys in their hand? They could just put them in their pocket but they don’t. They put them down in some random location. Then, after they’ve left, they’re back at your door a minute later looking for their car keys. These are the types of people who lose stuff. Important stuff. They don’t think a gun is any more important than anything else they might carry.

  2. It’s not just the feds. I personally know two members of the NYPD that lost a total of five handguns between them.

    • How does that conversation go? “Umm Sarge, I lost my gun again.” Is there some kind of penalty?

  3. Not just the Feds. The county here has misplaced several Glocks and some carbines in the past year along with computer equipment. The guy in charge said on the news, “when you lose weapons it’s really not good”. Glad he at least recognizes that fact.

  4. Daniel
    Your bias is showing. The largest expansion in the last 20 years was under Bush II. This includes the little reported expansions of Black and Gray world assets. I say this because by saying “since the government really began growing like topsy in 2008” you make the implied link as follows

    Democrats Expand Government
    2008 The Democrat Obama Elected
    2008 Government expanded. Know, while it may be true that people were hired in 2008, when where there jobs created and funded?

    Some of the largest expansion in the 50 years happened under both parties. But I have notice that conservatives seem to have rose-colored glass when this point is brought up.

    • You’re right. It is showing. And you’re right. Both parties are at fault. But the spending explosion of the last 2+ years is hard to miss. And I did say, “since 2008.” BHO didn’t get started until January, 2009.

      • Both parties? When did we get two? I missed the memo. When it comes to growing government and patronage like Topsy, Republicrats and Democans are indistinguishable.

  5. The web site regularly features local news stories about police leaving their guns in public bathrooms, on top of their cars, or in an unlocked car (where it is stolen). It is a lot like that video of the DEA agent telling a roomful of parents and kids that law enforcement professionals are “the only ones” who are trained enough to be trusted with guns, and then shoots himself in the foot while holstering an “empty” Glock.

    If you and I did something like that, there would be a complete lack of official “understanding” of our mistakes. It’s the hypocrisy of the agencies that is most annoying, and probably explains the laughing “snark” reaction to these stories. Especially when the agency offers a reward for the return of the gun. As if a criminal who finds one is going to give it back.

  6. Losing weapons is inexcusable. Recently a ICE agent left a handgun in a bathroom at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX within the secured area. If some nutball picked it up and went on a flight some nasty stuff could have gone down. Thankfully most folks are sane and would report it. As it turned out a cleaning crew found it and called the Houston police.

    • “a cleaning crew found it and called the Houston police.”

      And by the time the cops got there, the gun was all shiny and smelled like Lemon Pledge.

  7. No matter who was in the white house, no matter who controlled congress, the debt has risen EVERY YEAR since 1957.

    And, yeah, the Dems and GOP are two sides of the same coin.

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