Military investigators are hoping to track down a machine gun that has gone missing from a California Army post, officials confirmed to Army Times.

The M240B machine gun was last seen at Fort Irwin’s Forward Operating Base Santa Fe — located in the sandy training area of the post known as “the Box” — on Aug. 4, according to a photograph of a flyer first posted to Reddit.

The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division has opened an investigation into the missing gun.

“Currently, there are no indications of any criminal activity,” Patrick Barnes, a spokesperson for Army CID, said in a statement to Army Times. “No additional details will be released at this time.”

Facebook photos posted by Fort Irwin show that the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, has been rotating through the National Training Center where the machine gun went missing this month.

Barnes encouraged those with information about the gun’s disappearance to call the Fort Irwin CID Office at 760-380-5812, the military police at 760-386-4040 or to submit a note anonymously to the CID tip line.

It is not uncommon for Army weapons to get stolen or lost. A 2021 Associated Press investigation found that 1,303 Army rifles and handguns went missing between 2013 and 2019.

In 2011, three members of military police stole 26 machine guns and a sniper rifle from Fort Irwin. Police found several of these weapons in Fresno, California, eight years later.

It is illegal for California civilians to possess machine guns unless they hold a state-issued permit. The state Department of Justice gives permits only to those with a proven need — machine gun manufacturers, for instance.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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