NEW YORK – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s removal of about half of the Border Patrol’s supply of M4 carbine weapons underscores worries the Obama administration is disarming agents ahead of the president’s planned executive order granting amnesty to illegal aliens, a congressman warns.
Customs officials claim a large number of M4s were being taken from Border Patrol agents because the weapons were found to be unserviceable and posed safety concerns.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, doesn’t buy that claim.
“There’s no more reliable weapon in the world,” he laughed.
“Any agency like the Department of Homeland Security that has bought millions of rounds of ammunition over the past few years could certainly afford to replace with new serviceable M4s all the weapons they are [taking] for testing,” King said.
“This sounds to me like a ruse to start to take the weapons out of the hands of the Border Patrol.”
The congressman said that if there were legitimate concerns about the safety and serviceability of the M4s, “I would know about it by now.”
“As far as I know, there’s nothing out there about the operability of the M4,” he said.
King explained that the M4, the M16 and the AR15 have identical action, and the parts are interchangeable.”
Further, he argued, the M4 is the most popular high-powered rifle in the country among professional shooters and target shooters.
“If there were any problem with them as far as safety was concerned, it would be all over the Internet,” he said. “And it’s the exact opposite; the weapon is so reliable.”
King emphasized DHS needs to be held accountable for “a completely bogus and specious argument.”
“I don’t get it. How does DHS go from ‘Fast and Furious’ to disarming the Border Patrol?” he asked, referring to the scandalous Justice Department gun-tracing plan that sent thousands of weapons to Mexico that ended up in the hands of criminals.
“The Mexican drug cartels are shooting at the Border Patrol with 50-caliber across the Rio Grande,” he said. “I’m concerned the Border Patrol does not have enough protection going out with just M4s.”
King expressed a determination to find out exactly why DHS was taking the action now.
“If you disarm the Border Patrol in preparation for issuing an executive edict of unconstitutional amnesty, that starts a flood of illegal immigrants into the United States, and we can’t protect our borders,” he said.
King also said it makes no sense to pool the M4s among agents.
“Think of the Marine Corps if the troops had to share a weapon,” he said. “You sleep with your weapon, and you live with your weapon. You tear down your weapon, clean it and put it back together again until you can do it blindfolded. So what U.S. Customs and Border Protection is doing is like saying to a cowboy that you don’t get your own horse.”
King said it “would be very disturbing to me to know I had to go out and put my life on the line, but I had to check somebody else’s weapon out of the gun cabinet in the pool.”
‘They just showed up’
Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector union, told WND that in his 12 years as a Border Patrol agent, he has never experienced the federal government coming to the field and removing such a quantity of weapons at one time because of service issues.
He said the federal agents arrived to inspect the weapons without prior notice.
“They just showed up and it happened,” he said. “We didn’t even know.”
Cueto said Customs and Border Protection won’t tell the Border Patrol when the M4s will be replaced.
He said for the feds “to come in and take a look at all the weapons and say, ‘This many weapons have issues, so were removing them,’ that’s where we are sitting here, saying it makes absolutely no sense.”
He argued Border Patrol agents were capable of servicing their weapons.
“We have agents who are trained armorers, and it would be interesting to see if there were problems that the armorer at the Border Patrol station could have fixed without the federal agents removing the weapon,” he said. “We are hearing that some of the problems were firing pins. We could have removed firing pins without requiring federal agents to remove the weapon and send it off somewhere for repairs.”
Cueto said the military version of the M4 is designed so that soldiers in the field could make basic repairs, such as replacing a faulty firing pin. He said the Border Patrol typically follows the military model of assigning a particular weapon to a particular soldier to sight it and otherwise personalize it to their needs and preferences.
“In my experience, the feds took an unusually large number of weapons. I’ve never seen it happen before,” he said.
“If there was so much damage on such a large number of weapons, how is it that the Border Patrol were using them perfectly fine without reporting their weapons for repair?”
Cueto affirmed that because of the quantity of weapons removed, none of the Border Patrol agents has a personally issued M4.
“Nobody has a personally sighted weapon anymore,” he said. “All the Border Patrol agents are now using M4s that were used by someone else before them.”