As the Los Angeles Times reported, “A cache of Los Angeles Police Department submachine guns and handguns was stolen…[recently] from a secured building used by the department’s SWAT unit, raising fears that the weapons, which police had altered to fire only blanks, could be converted back to lethal use, police officials confirmed.”
SWAT Team members arrived at the building for training, only to discover their training firearms had been stolen. The guns included 21 MP-5 submachine guns and a dozen handguns. “To get to the weapons, the thieves cut through bolt locks on an outside door and two internal doors and forced their way through a metal roll gate…”
“I guess ‘secure’ is all relative now,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing. “It’s embarrassing…. It’s a lesson learned.”
The Times noted that, “As a rule, Downing said, officers are not supposed to leave weapons unattended at the building. He added that ‘appropriate measures’ had been taken in response to the gaffe but would not specify if anyone had been disciplined. He said officials are also reviewing SWAT’s procedures for using the building to see if changes are needed.”
Downing admitted that it was possible to convert the firearms back to the firing of live ammunition.
Source: LA Times 10/17/11
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