UPDATE 9/23/23 2:04 p.m.
According to Fox News, the number of missing weapons is now closer to 200 than the originally reported 76.
The total is a mix of weapons assigned to the sheriff’s office’s arsenal and others were confiscated from people.
The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office is still missing 76 service weapons, despite claims that most of them had been found.
The Controller’s Office previously released a report in November 2020 on the sheriff’s office’s gun inventory and found that 101 service firearms and 109 Protection From Abuse (PFA) weapons were missing. It blamed the previous sheriff for the problem.
The Sheriff’s Office stated during the 2024 budget hearing with the city council that all but 20 of their original 101 missing service weapons had been found.
But controller Chief of Staff Lief Erickson claims that the current sheriff, Rochelle Bilal, has presented no evidence that the weapons were located when they did a follow-up investigation.
“We found that 76 of the guns out of the 101 that were initially missing are still missing,” Erickson said, according to KYW News Radio.
“We just hope that they simply enter them into the National Crime Information Center’s database and that way we consider them — if not accounted for, at least that they’re potentially being tracked if they ever come up outside of Philadelphia,” he said.
The missing weapons include 71 handguns, four semi-automatic handguns and one shotgun.
The controller’s office stated that in another review that took place in August 2021 that 16 of the original missing guns were accounted for. The sheriff’s office provided sufficient proof for nine weapons as part of their most recent review, but that still leaves 76 weapons still missing.
“There needs to be sufficient identifying information to confirm the disposition of these guns,” Acting City Controller Charles Edacheril said to NBC10. “This requires documentation to confirm weapons were properly disposed of, such as burned, or located and reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).”
Additionally, the controller’s office claimed that the sheriff’s office also failed to mention the status of the missing 109 PFA weapons at the budget hearing that was held or in their press releases.
“While the Sheriff’s Office indicated that many of the missing guns were properly disposed of after the initial investigations over the last three years, the Controller’s Office found insufficient documentation to confirm the previous statements,” a controller’s office spokesperson wrote, per NBC10.
The sheriff’s office reported that some of the guns found were given to retired officers and former employees with the department.
But the controller’s office said that the guns should be placed in NCIC as “missing” if possession or disposal of those firearms can’t be confirmed.
“All unaccounted-for guns should be placed in NCIC as missing,” Edacheril said to NBC10.