TUCSON, Az – Border Patrol agents have been forced to share rifles from a “pool” of weapons after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development have been taking agent’s M4 carbines for “inspection,” but have not returned them. A statement from Customs and Border Protection said that the weapons were “deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns…”
The local news team at KVOA reported that Border Patrol Agents are “extremely worried” over the development. Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector union was quoted as saying,
We know it’s a dangerous job. We know what we signed on for but we want to have as much of the equipment as we need to perform the job.
A website for the union representing Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector did not mince words, saying in part,
This is a slap in the face to every Agent who does the day to day job of patrolling the border and protecting our nation.
According to a must-read Judicial Watch report from 2012, “violence in the southern border area has skyrocketed.”
Despite this, according to Judicial Watch,
The Border Patrol union reveals on its website that agents are forced to take lengthy computer courses known as “Virtual Learning Center” where they are taught in an “Active Shooter” course that if they encounter a shooter in a public place they are to “run away” and “hide.” Only if cornered by a shooter, as a last resort, should agents become “aggressive” and “throw things” at the attacker. They are also advised to “call law enforcement” and wait for their arrival.
Former DEA Agent Jeff Prather confirmed that Border Patrol agents “have reached out to him about the rifle shortage.” He was quoted as saying that he believes the move is “politically motivated.” He added,
And now they’re seriously concerned. Because if they’re concerned enough to reach out and contact me and reach out so we get this message out, they are not only frustrated but they are in fear for their lives.
Customs and Border Protection released a statement stating:
CBP’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are jointly inspecting the serviceability of M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol Sectors nationwide. 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.
It is no secret that Border Patrol agents put their lives on the line when it comes to illegal immigrants who cross the border, particularly from violent drug cartel members and potential terrorists. It is incomprehensible that these brave men and women are denied the tools they need to protect themselves and American citizens.
In June, local investigative journalists for KVOA reported that a Mexican military helicopter “traveled across the border and fired on U.S. Border Patrol agents.” The incident, however, was “no fluke,” as reported at the Investigative News site whowhatwhy, who added that “Mexican military aircraft entered U.S. territory 49 times from 2010 through 2012.”