31 Pistols Went Missing from Fort Moore, Georgia. The Army Is Offering $5,000 for Information.

A cavalry scout fires the M17 9mm pistol at Fort Carson
A cavalry scout fires the M17 9mm pistol at Fort Carson, Colorado, Jan. 20, 2021. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Daniel Parker)

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information on 31 M17 pistols that went missing from Fort Moore in Georgia.

Investigators were notified May 16 that the pistols had been reported missing from the Crescenz Consolidated Equipment Pool on the base, and the firearms are believed to have gone missing sometime between March and May, according to an Army CID reward flyer posted on Reddit.

"The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Moore is [sic] aware of the incident, which remains under investigation," the center's public affairs office said in an email Thursday to Military.com.

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The reward poster hadn't been posted on the official CID website Thursday, but had been circulated across the Fort Moore installation and among local law enforcement, according to one person familiar with the investigation but who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

The M17 is a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol with a 17-round magazine capacity. The handgun was adopted by the Defense Department in 2017 to eventually replace the M9 Beretta pistol.

    The civilian version of the M17, the P320-M17, retails for around $650.

    According to the Army's regulation governing the physical security of weapons, they must be accounted for by serial number each month, except for those that are "boxed and banded," meaning they are sealed in a container for longer periods. Weapons sent to other locations for repairs or transfer also must be accounted for.

    In 2021, an investigation by The Associated Press found that at least 1,900 military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010s, and some were later used in violent crimes within the U.S.

    "Government records covering the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force show pistols, machine guns, shotguns and automatic assault rifles have vanished from armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships, firing ranges and other places where they were used, stored or transported," according to the AP. "These weapons of war disappeared because of unlocked doors, sleeping troops, a surveillance system that didn't record, break-ins and other security lapses that, until now, have not been publicly reported."

    A .50-caliber machine gun went missing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state in 2022, and an Army noncommissioned officer was eventually charged with stealing machine gun parts and a smoke grenade.

    Last year, an M18 pistol, the compact version of the M17, disappeared from a Marine infantry unit in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the same unit that lost two rifles in 2019, according to Marine Corps Times.

    In 2022, an M240B machine gun went missing from another Army base, near Fort Irwin, California, the Army Times reported.

    -- Kelsey Baker is a graduate student at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, and a former active-duty Marine. Reach her on X at @KelsBBaker or bakerkelsey@protonmail.com.

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