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“Loose” oversight of firearms gave officers access to between 25 and 30 guns that had been ordered destroyed after judicial proceedings, Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said Monday after a monthlong department audit.

Out of roughly 250 guns, two shotguns and one shotgun barrel remain unaccounted for after the audit. Burton speculated that the shotguns might have been sold to officers when the department bought new ones, a practice he said wasn’t unusual. But he said the department has no records of that happening and no way to track down those guns.

The department is now paying about $20,000 to have a company look at its property room policies and make recommendations for any improvements.

“No agency I’ve ever worked for allowed what we were doing,” Burton said of previous oversight of the department’s firearms. “I was pretty surprised and shocked at how loose it was.”

Source: Sangeeta Shastry for Columbiamissourian.com.

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“Loose” oversight of firearms gave officers access to between 25 and 30 guns that had…