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Hearing Hearing Date: July 6, 2016 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

Firearms and Munitions at Risk: Examining Inadequate Safeguards

Firearms and Munitions at Risk: Examining Inadequate Safeguards
July 6, 2016
10:00 am
2154 Rayburn HOB

0616 Firearms



  • DHS and BOP are not adequately securing their firearms inventory.

o   DHS lost 500 firearms during the last seven years and in 2015, only 56 out of 72 lost firearms were recovered.

  • BOP has implemented only three out of 14 recommendations to minimize lost or stolen firearms issued by the Department of Justice Inspector General. BOP committed to full implementation but did not specify a completion date.
  •  Chairman Chaffetz will issue a subpoena to the Bureau of Land Management if documents requested in a March letter are not received by the Committee by the end of the week.


  • To examine agency procedures for accounting for and controlling firearms inventory, and to explore how these practices can be improved.
  • To discuss why the agencies have failed to produce responsive documents per the Committee’s request.


  • Chairman Chaffetz sent a letter to numerous agencies earlier this year including Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) seeking documents related to firearms inventory accounting and control practices.
    • In March, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice performed an audit of BOP’s armory munitions and equipment.
  • As of June 2016, DHS, BLM, and BOP have all failed to respond to the Committee’s requests.


Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA): “It is inexcusable for Americans to have to fear being injured or killed by weapons that were issued to government agents who are incapable of properly handling their weapon.”

Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK): “24 hours a day duty or having possession of firearms everyday is no excuse for their negligent care.”

Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL): “In July of 2015 an illegal, foreign national, five-time deportee from Mexico stole a Bureau of Land Management ranger’s gun and shot and murdered 31-year-old Kate Steinle… [E]ach law enforcement officer is responsible for ensuring the security of his or her assigned firearm and other defensive equipment while on or off duty… [W]as that ranger disciplined?”

Witnesses and testimonies: The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz

Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice


Mr. Thomas R. Kane, Ph.D.

Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons


Mr. Jeffery Orner

Chief Readiness Support Officer
U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Mr. Steven A. Ellis

Deputy Director of Operations
Bureau of Land Management


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