Audit of Marshals Service details missing weapons, untracked ammo
By Chris Eger
A federal watchdog agency found that the Marshals have had 23 guns reported lost or stolen since 2015. (Photo: USMS)
A report issued last month by a federal watchdog agency found that the U.S. Marshal Service could improve the way it controls its government-issued guns and ammunition.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General delivered its 36-page report on how the oldest American federal law-enforcement agency takes care of its hardware. The audit found that, while in general the USMS has “strong physical controls” over its assorted 28,364 firearms, Tasers, and other weapons in its inventory, they found that 110 guns recently purchased had been in the service’s possession for as long as 16 months without being logged into inventory and 23 firearms had been lost or stolen since 2015.
Of the missing guns, OIG related that the majority (15) were handguns and most were stolen from vehicles. Disciplinary action for lost or stolen guns typically amounted to a short suspension of fewer than 10 days. A handgun left in the restroom of a U.S. courthouse and later found by a non-Marshal courthouse employee netted a one-day suspension.
Besides its well-known duties in fugitive operations, witness protection and prisoner transport duties, the Service