Tags: Immigration | Arizona | Border Patrol | weapons

Arizona Border Patrol Agents Fear Shortage of Weapons

By    |   Monday, 10 Nov 2014 02:55 PM

Some Border Patrol agents say they are becoming increasingly suspicious after their M4 carbine weapons have been taken away from them for inspection with some never returned.

An investigation by TV station News 4/KVOA in Tucson found numerous examples of agents saying they were forced to share weapons after having to surrender theirs for inspections, raising fears that they are now not properly armed.

"I hope they replace these weapons as soon as possible or give us some kind of answer as to how they plan on replacing them," Art del Cueto, who serves as president of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector Union, told KVOA.

Del Cueto said of the sharing arrangements: "The problem is they are now pool guns so what happens is instead of having their individual ones they have sighted in they're having to use a pool weapon that you don't know who used it before you."

In a statement to KVOA investigators, Customs and Border Patrol officials said the inspections are a part of an ongoing program nationwide for the M4 weapons. "Some of (the) inspected M4 carbines were deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns. Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field. No further information is available at this time."

While agents register concern about being properly armed, a new report has found that Arizona is no longer the deadliest place for border crossings, with deaths there falling to a 15-year low, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Raleigh Leonard, the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector Division chief, credits 10 new rescue beacons placed in high immigrant traffic areas for helping to reduce deaths among those trying to come into the U.S, the Monitor noted.

"I think we can all agree that crossing the border is an illegal act, but nothing that should be assigned the penalty of death," Leonard told the Monitor.

The area remains dangerous, however. One Mexican man was killed by a Border Patrol agent late last month, the third such shooting in a year, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The man, who was part of a group traveling a known drug smuggling corridor, was wearing a bulletproof vest, carpet booties to disguise footprints and carrying a pistol.

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Some Border Patrol agents say they are becoming increasingly suspicious after their M4 carbine weapons have been taken away from them for inspection with some never returned.
Arizona, Border Patrol, weapons
379
2014-55-10
Monday, 10 Nov 2014 02:55 PM
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