A supervisor at the Mojave National Preserve in California violated policy by buying fully automatic assault rifles and dozens of flash-bang grenades, according to a federal study released Thursday.
A supervisory park ranger at the immense desert park northeast of Los Angeles bought nine Colt M-4 fully automatic rifles between 2008 and 2010, and 24 grenades some years later, according to a report from the inspector general's office from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The purchases violated park service policy, which specifies semi-automatic rifles and requires prior approval for defensive equipment, although the policy doesn't specifically mention flash-bang grenades, the report said.
The supervisor, who was not named in the report, acknowledged selecting the guns and allowing park rangers to carry them on duty for three years. They replaced aging and unreliable Vietnam-era rifles that rangers had been using on patrol, the report said.