DPS confirms weapons stockpile seized at government agency

Roughly 50 handguns and 80,000 rounds of ammunition that were stored in the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s basement were confiscated. (Source: DPS)

State authorities confirmed they seized a massive stockpile of weapons from a state agency that is supposed to help Arizona's neediest.

The Department of Public Safety released a report Thursday showing 45 handguns and more than 84,000 rounds of ammunition were found inside the Department of Economic Security's headquarters in Phoenix.

DPS took the weapons last week shortly after Gov. Doug Ducey fired the embattled agency director, Tim Jeffries.

The weapons and ammo were stored in three different locations throughout the building and are now in DPS custody.

SLIDESHOW: Some of the seized weapons

Photographs released by authorities show boxes of ammunition as well as handguns manufactured by Glock and Beretta.

The agency is in charge of handling social service programs like food stamp and cash assistance for the poor.

A spokeswoman for the agency said DES had 44 law enforcement officials with plans to hire more in the future.

The governor installed his chief operating officer, Harry Darwin, as the interim director of DES.

Darwin was unavailable for comment, Thursday, but one state lawmaker said the fact that DES was stockpiling weapons is very disturbing.

"What are you actually defending yourself against except the demons in your own head when you've got that level of a police force," said Sen. Steve Farley, a Democrat from Tucson.

A spokesman for the governor's office did say a handful of agencies and departments other than DPS have sworn officers for security.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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