Tags: Border Patrol | rifles | shortage | agents

Border Patrol Agents Face Rifle Shortage

Image: Border Patrol Agents Face Rifle Shortage
(Michael Reynolds/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:50 AM

Border Patrol officials across the United States are taking M-4 carbine rifles out of service for repairs, raising concerns about possible weapons shortages.

KRGV Television, a station in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, reported last week that the weapons were being taken out of service for repairs. Local Border Patrol union officials said there had been some early miscommunication between agency leadership and field agents about the maintenance program, but said no agents had been deployed without proper weaponry.

A different picture emerged from a recent report by an Arizona television station.

News 4 Tucson reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are inspecting agents' M4 carbines and found some to be "unserviceable." Border Patrol agents turned in those weapons, but they were not issued replacements, the station reported.

That has resulted in a situation in which agents in sectors like Tucson are using weapons passed by one agent to another after completion of their shifts.

Many border agents say this raises serious safety concerns. Art del Cueto, union president of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector union president, said this makes it difficult to personalize the settings on a rifle, such as the sights.

"We know it's a dangerous job," del Cueto said. "We know what we signed on for, but we want to have as much of the equipment as we need to perform the job."

Jeff Prather, a former DEA agent in the Tucson area, said Border Patrol agents had expressed concerns to him about the rifle shortage and the possibility that they may be outgunned by drug cartel operatives.

Prather said the cartels are already known to be better armed than the U.S. border agents.

He said the agents are going public with their concerns because "they are in fear for their lives."

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Border Patrol officials across the United States are taking M-4 carbine rifles out of service for repairs, raising concerns about possible weapons shortages.
Border Patrol, rifles, shortage, agents
296
2014-50-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 11:50 AM
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