AP: US military guns lost, stolen from Virginia bases

Military

A photo illustration of documents gathered during an AP investigation into missing military weapons. (AP Illustration)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Military weapons including pistols and a medium machine gun have been lost or stolen from bases in Virginia.

An Associated Press investigation into firearms missing from the U.S. armed services shows at least 19 guns disappeared or were recovered in Virginia between 2010 and 2019.

The weapons are among at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms that AP learned were unaccounted for during the last decade.

Intended for war, some guns 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.

Chart timeseries highlights the number of unaccounted for U.S. military weapons of the Army.

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