Border Patrol officials have pulled thousands of rifles from field agents in a large-scale effort to refurbish the weaponry, prompting the rank-and-file to complain that they’ve been left with the dangerous options of sharing guns or being disarmed altogether.
Nearly one-third of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 16,300 M4 carbine rifles were tested by the agency’s office of training and development, which determined that more than 2,000 had the potential for malfunction. The rate of nearly 40 percent was “more than we are comfortable with,” said CBP Deputy Chief Ron Vitiello.
“Our top priority is to make sure our agents are safe,” said Vitiello, adding that the agency intends to eventually cycle through all of the rifles to ensure that those in need of repair are fixed. “They will be like new when they are refurbished.”
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