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Armed Forces: Firearms

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 4274, tabled on 25 June 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) handguns, (b) rifles and (c) automatic weapons have been (i) lost and (ii) stolen in operations overseas in each of the last two years.

Answered on

3 July 2015

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the security of firearms and ammunition very seriously and has robust procedures to deter and prevent loss and theft. Given the dynamic nature of military training, exercises, and operations it is impossible to mitigate against all risk. Nevertheless, all losses and thefts of firearms and ammunition are fully and rigorously investigated, in partnership, as necessary, with civilian police forces.

The numbers lost and stolen over the past two years are shown below. These represent a tiny fraction of around 360,000 firearms that the MOD owns and operates. In drafting the answer to these questions, it has become apparent that the answer to Question 2466 was incorrect, overstating the losses and thefts in the UK. The information has been corrected in this answer.

Year

Status

UK

Operations Overseas

2013

Lost/Accounted for

Stolen

Lost on Combat Ops

Stolen

Recovered

1 x 40mm Grenade Gun

-

1 x SA80 Rifle

1 x 9mm Sig Sauer Pistol

1 x SA80 Rifle

Lost at sea

1 x SA80 Rifle

1 x 9mm Sig Sauer Pistol

1 x MP5 Pistol

-

Not Recovered

2 x SA80 Rifle

2 x Electronic Range Rifles

1 x Deactivated 9mm Tokarev pistol

1 x SA80 Rifle

1 x M4 Rifle

Total

8

2

3

1

2014

Recovered

1 x SA80 Rifle

-

-

-

Lost at Sea

1 x SA80 Rifle

1 x 9mm Sig Sauer Pistol

-

-

-

Not recovered

1 x Weapon Sight

2 x Deactivated

AK47 Rifle

1 x Replica Machine Gun

-

-

Total

4

3

0

0