Ten guns stills missing from game, fish department


By Rob Port | Watchdog.org North Dakota Bureau

MISSING GUNS: North Dakota Game & Fish Director Terry Steinwand’s department is scrambling to find guns found to be unaccounted for in a state audit report.

BISMARCK, N.D. — The N.D. North Dakota Game and Fish Department, a recent audit shows, failed to account for 100 of its 784 guns.

Now, weeks after the report, the agency still can’t find 10 of them.

The audit, from State Auditor Robert Peterson, contained 44 significant findings, including issues with the handling, inventory and storage of guns owned by the department.

“G&F provides functioning guns to volunteer hunter education instructors to be used as training aids for teaching hunter education classes throughout the state,” the April 9 audit report stated. “The instructors are not required to sign an agreement for use of the guns or acknowledging receipt. While G&F is required to take an annual inventory of these guns, we identified no documentation these guns were ever inventoried. Based on information from G&F, it appears to have been at least (eight) years since a complete inventory of the guns may have occurred.

The audit report says department workers said “the location and security of all the guns was not known.”

The department found and accounted for all but 10 of the guns, according to a report from the Forum News Service, but are still searching for the remaining firearms.

Other findings in the audit include allowing game and fish employees to use state vehicles for private use, excessive compensation for travel and meal expenses and failure to comply with state procurement laws.

You can reach Rob Port at rport@watchdog.org