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Posted: 8/20/2004 4:11:14 PM EST
Game wardens to get M-16s

Surplus Army rifles will replace semiautomatics, provide more firepower


01:57 AM CDT on Friday, August 20, 2004


From Staff and Wire Reports




BROWNSVILLE – Texas game wardens are about to get some new weapons – surplus M-16s from the military.

Acquiring the weapons continues a program of arming game wardens in parts of the state where they may encounter more dangerous situations, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials said.

"The new rifles will be distributed to game wardens in areas of Texas, such as the border and in East Texas, where they might encounter drug smugglers or operators of clandestine meth labs," spokesman Tom Harvey said. "When they operate in such areas, they need to have the right equipment to deal with situations as they arise."

Col. James Stinebaugh, Texas Parks and Wildlife director, said that because the federal government decided to donate the surplus rifles, authorities will replace the AR-15 semiautomatic rifles that game wardens have now.

"The only difference is it has a selector on it, which would allow it to be fired full automatic instead of semiautomatic," Col. Stinebaugh said about the M-16.

The state will pay to ensure that game wardens receive two days of training with the new rifles. About 400 game wardens in the state are expected to receive M-16s within the next few weeks.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife official in the Rio Grande Valley said the weapons will help game wardens along the coast who encounter people who are frequently better armed.

"A lot of the people that are involved in these illegal activities are extremely well armed with AK-47s. What the department is trying to do is trying to make sure the state game wardens are well armed as well," said Capt. Ken Baker in Brownsville
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:15:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:19:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By mojo:

Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.



Do it all the way around Texas, then, when global warming melts the polar ice caps, Texas can give a bick F U to the rest of the world.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:20:20 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:22:00 PM EST
Cool
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:28:59 PM EST
"Bout freakin' time...
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:46:52 PM EST
encounter people who are frequently better armed.
"A lot of the people that are involved in these illegal activities are extremely well armed with AK-47s.


Are these full-auto AK's? I'd feel pretty well armed with an AR-15.

I hope those Game Wardens get full-auto training, and plenty of ammo.

A back up man with a sniper rifle might even be a better idea!
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:51:11 PM EST
California Department of Fish and Game issue semi only M14's and M1A Scouts. I got to go through their rifle school. They have some very good instructors.

FYI - Game Wardens, resorce officers, or what ever you call them in your area are assulted on duty more than any other form of LEO. They have a VERY dangerous job.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:54:20 PM EST
I guess they are running into more bad guys than rampaging bears.

CRC
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:57:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2004 4:57:53 PM EST by R14]
Mybe I dont get it, but what does a GAME WARDEN need an M-16 for? I didnt think they did arests of drug smuglers and stuff like that. Or am I thinking of a differnt kind of game warden?
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 4:58:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By mojo:
Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.


Works for me.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:01:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By R14:
Mybe I dont get it, but what does a GAME WARDEN need an M-16 for? I didnt think they did arests of drug smuglers and stuff like that. Or am I thinking of a differnt kind of game warden?



All the poachers with bigger guns, and yeah they run into drug smugglers and pot farms in CA, I expect in TX they get the drug and people smugglers.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:05:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By R14:
Mybe I dont get it, but what does a GAME WARDEN need an M-16 for? I didnt think they did arests of drug smuglers and stuff like that. Or am I thinking of a differnt kind of game warden?



It might have something to do with the bumper sticker I saw on a truck today.

"Support a Game Warden. Buy a strong rope."

Just a thought.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:07:50 PM EST

Origonaly posted by PaDanby:
All the poachers with bigger guns



OK, that makes sense. Didnt think of that. But even if they do come across drug and people smuglers and pot farms and such, are theye trained and equiped ( well besides weapons now) to handle those kinds of situations? I didnt think game wardens got "tactical" training and gear. maybe I'm just way off course here, I usualy am.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:09:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By R14:

Origonaly posted by PaDanby:
All the poachers with bigger guns



OK, that makes sense. Didnt think of that. But even if they do come across drug and people smuglers and pot farms and such, are theye trained and equiped ( well besides weapons now) to handle those kinds of situations? I didnt think game wardens got "tactical" training and gear. maybe I'm just way off course here, I usualy am.



Well since GWs are usually out in the bush looking for poachers, in Texas they might find smugglers instead.

CRC
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:12:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:15:44 PM EST
Consider that most all game wardens operate alone, all by themselves in the most remote areas of any jurisdiction. They are constantly confronting unknown armed people in the middle of nowhere, literally. If they realized the SHTF, it would probably be hours if not days or maybe never before anyone would find their body.

Everytime a game warden confronts an individual or group of hunters in the middle of nowhere, he must get a little nervous wondering if these guys are really poachers with no intention being fined or jailed, somebody who is up to no good for a multitude of reasons, or just a honest hunter being perfectly legal.

Its not a job I would take for the meager pay these guys get in Texas. Last time I looked they were making something less than $20k with some small allowances for job related stuff, and having the privilage of being shot at fairly frequently. These guys really deserve all the help and support they can get.

Doug Giraud
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:16:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:16:27 PM EST
OK, well I was way off, as usual. Thanks for putting me back in line.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:18:47 PM EST
Aimless- I'm not trying to call you out or anything, but how can a LEO get an M16? Are you speaking of an individual purchase? I thought only the department could acquire the fully auto stuff?
Clarence
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:19:20 PM EST
Also, when a meth bust goes down, at least up here in OK, the Game Warden is likely to tag along. The more good guys with guns the better!

And if the Warden stumbles across a smuggler or doper operation, they are usually all alone and their back-up is miles and maybe an hour away. The Wardens need all the help they can get.

I hope they get all the training they need also.

AL
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:21:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:24:38 PM EST
I remember reading on the old server something about GMs being able to go places without warrants where normal LEOs need warrants - that's the reason GMs go on some drug busts.

Something along those lines. Anyone remember that?
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:43:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By R14:
Mybe I dont get it, but what does a GAME WARDEN need an M-16 for? I didnt think they did arests of drug smuglers and stuff like that. Or am I thinking of a differnt kind of game warden?



Let's see,

Texas has a border with a foriegn country. Said border often has people violating the border to get into the US, or smuggle drugs into the US. Game wardens may come into contact with them.

Game Wardens often work alone in isolated areas where back up can be a signigant time away.

People that cultivate drugs, or are involved in making drugs -meth- like to be in isolated wilderness areas, and will get very agressive if the detect someone nearby.

M-16's are cheap when you can get them transferred from the military.

When you are alone, in the wilderness and getting shot at, sometimes fully automatic return fire is the best response.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 6:59:38 PM EST
This story does not jibe with what the game wardens themselves are telling me. I'm not sure if the reporter is confused or what.

They are getting surplus M16A-2's, but with the rifle converted to semi only. (they were never full auto in any case, but 3 rd burst)

They are also replacing Mini-14's, not AR's. All of them are pleased as hell.

I'd like to clarify, a game Warden in Texas is a regular Peace Officer, enforcing ALL state laws. They have no special powers beyond regular police or deputy except in some very narrow game related cases. If I remember correctly,there are about 400 for the entire state.

Link Posted: 8/20/2004 8:15:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
They are also replacing Mini-14's, not AR's. All of them are pleased as hell.


Color me surprised....
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 3:03:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By R14:

Origonaly posted by PaDanby:
All the poachers with bigger guns



OK, that makes sense. Didnt think of that. But even if they do come across drug and people smuglers and pot farms and such, are theye trained and equiped ( well besides weapons now) to handle those kinds of situations? I didnt think game wardens got "tactical" training and gear. maybe I'm just way off course here, I usualy am.



They do get some training. But the problem is that they are stuck in the middle of bumf**k nowhere with backup who knows how far away.

Training or not, I would want a rifle, you betcha.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 3:08:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By cjklekar:
Aimless- I'm not trying to call you out or anything, but how can a LEO get an M16? Are you speaking of an individual purchase? I thought only the department could acquire the fully auto stuff?
Clarence



Department gets them them through the 1033 Program. The weapons cost $20-30 each, and are usually depot rebuilds that came out of storage. They are still legally machineguns, even if the agency converts them to semi-only, and must be registered on a Form 10 (I have done this so I am fairly familar with the process)

The only question I have about this is how did they get around the 20% rule? Typically agencies can only get enough of any one kind of weapon (M16, M14) for 20% of their sworn officers, so TPS Game Wardens would only be able to get around 80 or so for the whole department, wince they have about 400 wardens.

I also hope they lock these up a little better than they do their current stuff. My guys have taken a couple of stolen weapons reports from warden's vehicles.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 3:14:11 AM EST
I can tell you in some areas of Texas I wouldn't mind having full-auto when I run into a herd of hogs. Nasty, viscious creatures that will charge you. I talking about the feral hogs, not javelinas.


96Ag
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 3:29:40 AM EST
I bet the deer all feel safe now.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 3:38:42 AM EST
JohninAustin,
You beat me to the punch. That game wardens have special powers is an urban legend of sorts, but I do beleive you are correct in that in some very narrowly defined situations, they DO have a warrantless search capability.
They are governed by the Constitution just like any other LEO.
"Officer, will you articulate for the Court WHY you thought there was an untagged deer in that mobile home?"

Oh and I hope this works... from their web site (salaries)
Game Warden Cadet, $2,516/month, Entrance Salary
Game Warden I, $2,773/month, Completion of Training Academy
Game Warden I, $3,033/month, One year after graduation
Game Warden II, $3,241/month, Four years after graduation
Game Warden III, $3,449/month, Eight years after graduation
Game Warden IV, $3,657/month, Twelve years after graduation
Game Warden V, $3,865/month, Sixteen years after graduation

I'll bet this acquisition, if proven to be true, has as much to do with terrorism as meth labs and poachers.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 5:36:51 AM EST

It might have something to do with the bumper sticker I saw on a truck today.

"Support a Game Warden. Buy a strong rope."

Just a thought.



That ain't right
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 5:47:06 AM EST
Down here it isn't unheard of for a poacher to shoot at a Game Warden, or shoot at a person who is legally on the land. Sweeps of the property are pretty common, and during the days before the Quail Unlimited hunts, and right before Deer Season starts, many of the game plantations keep records of who is authorized on the property, and take shots at anyone else.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 5:49:35 AM EST
Time to submit a job app......
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 5:58:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Luckystiff:
California Department of Fish and Game issue semi only M14's and M1A Scouts. I got to go through their rifle school. They have some very good instructors.

FYI - Game Wardens, resorce officers, or what ever you call them in your area are assulted on duty more than any other form of LEO. They have a VERY dangerous job.



And, according to USFW statisticts, it's the "Fish" warden that's asaulted the most...With his OWN gun!!
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 6:00:56 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 8:06:31 AM EST
Did they get A2's or A1's?

I guess it's moot, being select fire. What were they issued before? Next, they should push for the "heat detection" gizmo that attaches to the gun. W/m203...night sights...
Them wardens will be rareing to go at the next 'low tide...
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 8:44:21 AM EST



Originally Posted By mojo:


Yep. M16 will somewhat improve Game Warden's chance a little bit more when dealing with smugglers who probably carry illegal FA rifles.



Not trying to flame but isn't that of bunch of liberal crap?? You know, that assault rifles are the chosen weapon of criminals etc etc? How many FA's do the guys in TX run into in a given year?? In TN, when you read about a meth lab bust, usually a few shotguns, 38's and SKS's.

Another upside is the bad guys now know that the game wardens carry "machine guns"


Link Posted: 8/21/2004 8:47:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By HighCaliber:

Originally Posted By mojo:

Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.



Do it all the way around Texas, then, when global warming melts the polar ice caps, Texas can give a bick F U to the rest of the world.



If it'll keep all the darned Texans out of Colorado I'm all for it.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 11:33:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 12:16:32 PM EST
Why would they need to get new rifles - shouldn't they let one of those VPC "experts" show them how to "easily" convert an AR-15 to full auto?

Finally, I find it humorous that we still have only burst capability on the M16A4, yet Texas game wardens get full auto. Of course, they don't have a nearby SAW or 240 gunner.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 12:24:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By mojo:

Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.



UHHHHH.......Kiss my ass?

From an okie!


Link Posted: 8/21/2004 12:45:13 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 12:54:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Another upside is the bad guys now know that the game wardens carry "machine guns"




Yeah, hope they secure them in their vehicles better than the FBI does.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 12:57:46 PM EST


Originally Posted By mojo:

I, myself, am glad if these a**holes carry 'shotguns, 38's...', but when dealing with major drug traffickers and major illegal human smuggling operations at the border of US-Mexico, FA is the norm, instead of the exception. IMO.



I too am glad they carry 38's. That is why I love Sat nite specials. I would rather the bad guys carry 25's that go bang 30% of the time! But FA for smugglers the norm?? I honestly don't know and not calling you out, just would like a link.
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 1:00:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By mojo:

Originally Posted By patrickcudd:

Originally Posted By mojo:

Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.



UHHHHH.......Kiss my ass?

From an okie!






Let's see here: Illegal immigrants at Mexico-US border--South of the border.
Illegal immigrants at Canada-US border--North of the border.

Any questions??



I thought you were meaning on the northern and southern border of Texas.

Link Posted: 8/21/2004 1:54:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bumblebee_Bob:

Originally Posted By HighCaliber:

Originally Posted By mojo:

Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.



Do it all the way around Texas, then, when global warming melts the polar ice caps, Texas can give a bick F U to the rest of the world.



If it'll keep all the darned Texans out of Colorado I'm all for it.



If you pulled all of the "Darned Texans" out of Colo. you would get mighty lonesome up there by yourself.. fullclip
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 1:56:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By patrickcudd:

Originally Posted By mojo:

Originally Posted By patrickcudd:

Originally Posted By mojo:

Very good move.

Now put up a wall, like the Great Wall of China, both North and South of the border.



UHHHHH.......Kiss my ass?

From an okie!






Let's see here: Illegal immigrants at Mexico-US border--South of the border.
Illegal immigrants at Canada-US border--North of the border.

Any questions??



I thought you were meaning on the northern and southern border of Texas.




Then again, on the Red River wouldn't be bad either fullclip
Link Posted: 8/21/2004 2:04:28 PM EST
Knowing how the state of Texas does things, they will probably put them in supervisors vehicles and the wardens will have to call if they need one. Kind of like calling a time out to get a weapon.

Personally, I would rather they give them m-14's and premission to use them.. fullclip
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:39:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
They are also replacing Mini-14's, not AR's. All of them are pleased as hell.


Color me surprised....



Want to hear something funny? I'm participating in this same discussion on another board where the guys claim Game Wardens don't need guns AT ALL, and that the Mini-14 is far superior to the M-16. One clown wants to give them scoped bolt guns so they can take out miscreants at 1000 yds, stating it's easy to do.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 3:50:03 AM EST
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