US military guns keep vanishing, some used in street crimes

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In this June 21, 2019, photo made available by the U.S. Marine Corps, a recruit receives a rifle at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. The armory is in charge of over 10,000 rifles on Parris Island. In the first public accounting of its kind in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found that at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010s, with some resurfacing in violent crimes. AP’s total is a certain undercount of a problem some armed services have downplayed. (Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

(AP) — An Associated Press investigation has found that at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen over the last decade.

These weapons are intended for war — but some have ended up on America’s streets. Army pistols, for example, were used in violent crimes including shootings and robbery. Pistols, machine guns and automatic assault rifles vanished from military armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships and elsewhere.

Security lapses included unlocked doors, sleeping troops and a surveillance system that didn’t record. The Pentagon and armed services say that missing firearms are a tiny fraction of the military’s stockpile, and note that some weapons are recovered.

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