A gun-controlled city that wants to manage legally-owned firearms failed to account for those under its possession. Philadelphia's sheriff's office couldn't account for over 200 firearms bought or repossessed by the authorities. The firearms disappeared between 1977-2015, but the information only appeared when a whistle-blower complained about 15 missing long guns.
An investigation by the City Controller revealed that the problem was bigger than initially anticipated. The investigators mentioned "physical disorganization" and "poor record-keeping" as the reasons for the firearms' disappearance.
Law enforcement, court security, and prisoner transfers were responsible for the losses. Regardless of the reasons for firearm disappearances, the weapons could be anywhere, including in the hands of dangerous criminals.
According to the investigators, 71 firearms were "unknown" because they had no corresponding paperwork. It was difficult to determine if they were seized from individuals and whom, or if they were bought by government agencies.
Another 67 firearms were confiscated without a record of their serial numbers. It was impossible to determine where they originated from and if they had been used in crimes.
The investigation also found that 25 of the 101 firearms issued by the sheriff's office weren't returned when the deputies left the force. This action is tantamount to theft of public property, which the department should have considered.
Surprisingly, the ex-officers were cleared without returning the firearms or having the guns legally transferred to them.
Similarly, trading with sheriffs' handguns was also uncovered during the investigation. The sheriff's office exchanged more than 13 confiscated firearms and a service firearm with 10 new firearms from a local gun seller.
Although the investigation did not find any wrongdoing on the retailer's part, the authorities' decision to illegally exchange confiscated and service firearms raised serious ethical questions.
Firearms were also haphazardly stored on piles on the floor. Sheriff department's firearms mixed with confiscated ones with some still loaded. It's a sight that the gun control Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney would like to hide. However, he could always get away with promising more gun control while failing to account for firearms under his watch.
Recently he declared gun violence as a citywide emergency, saying that Philadelphia "maintains our sense of urgency on this mounting public health crisis." Apparently, tackling illegal gun dealing and handling taking place under his nose was not a priority because it didn't earn him any political points.
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