California Marines Reportedly Misplace High-Caliber Sniper Rifle

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Alexander Pease Contributor
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California Marines reportedly misplaced a high-caliber sniper rifle near a Marine base March 8.

The gun went MIA after a “Joint Light Tactical Vehicle movement” carried out by the Marine Corps Battalion Landing Team 1/5 on March 8 in the general vicinity of Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, Marine press officer Capt. Brian Tuthill told The Military Times.

The missing weapon is a M110 semi-automatic sniper rifle. (RELATED: Deadliest Marine Corps Sniper Charles Benjamin Mawhinney Dies At Age 75)

View of the main entrance to Camp Pendleton on July 26, 2019 in Oceanside, California (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Once the Marines realized the sniper was gone, the unit proceeded to search for it, Tuthill told the Times. Another battalion, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, supported in the search. Despite their collective efforts, the sniper still remains missing. (RELATED: VA Reportedly Tells Marine Veteran That He Must Pay Back Over $100,000)

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is now investigating the incident, Tuthill said.

American armed forces have a history of appearing to misplace military-grade guns, according to a 2021 Military Times investigation with reporters from The Associated Press (AP).

From 2010 through 2019, 204 Marine firearm assets were either lost or stolen, the investigation found. Out of that figure, only 14 were reportedly recovered.

At least one of those guns, a 9mm Beretta, was cited as being used for criminal activity across four shootings that was retrieved after a police chase on foot in Albany, New York, according to the investigation. That pistol was said to be hundreds of miles away in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to inventory records.

Unlocked doors, a non-recording surveillance system, break-ins, sleeping troops and other security failures resulted in weapons’ disappearance, according to the investigation.