Smith & Wesson is recalling and replacing thousands of ammunition magazines it delivered with the California Highway Patrol’s new semi-automatic pistols after officers reported bullets were not properly loading into the weapons’ firing chambers, reports the Sacramento Bee. It was the second time this year that parts have been recalled related to the CHP’s new Smith & Wesson 4006TSW pistols, a purchase that drew criticism for its lack of competitive bidding.
Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero likened the recurring problems with the guns to a comedy movie starring Bill Murray in which he keeps reliving the same day. “This is like ‘Groundhog Day,’ but it’s not funny. It’s an outrage,” Romero said. “It’s potentially deadly for an officer.” The patrol maintains its confidence in the guns. “If we felt our officers weren’t safe, they wouldn’t be carrying these guns, period,” said spokeswoman Fran Clader. The department bought 9,736 new 4006TSW pistols in 2006, drawing fire from legislators like Romero — who demanded a state audit — and from a rival gun maker, which alleged the patrol had improperly restricted bidding for the guns to a single Smith & Wesson model.