Over the last three days, seven guns were stolen during vehicle burglaries, according to the SAPD Facebook page.
This is not an uncommon problem in many cities outside of San Angelo as well.
In February 2017, Lubbock police reported that 384 guns had been stolen. Other cities such as Philadelphia or Hartford have reported burglaries of an even larger number. (The Trace)
Not only does gun theft affect the owners of the stolen property, but the guns can end up circulating the black market and endangering innocent people, including children if the guns end up in the wrong hands.
According to governing.com, Texas has the highest number of reported stolen guns at 18,435. Hawaii ranks as the lowest with 141 reports.
SAPD Officers are reminding the public that gun safety isn’t just about how a weapon is handled; but also about how it is stored.
The police department states:
Removing guns from vehicles entirely or securing them safely in a trunk or lock box can help prevent your firearms from ending up in the wrong hands. Stolen guns are often sold and traded for drugs or worse — used in robberies or other violent crimes that affect our loved ones. Let’s work together to prevent this senseless threat to public safety and to promote responsible gun ownership for a safer community.
A common argument from citizens among online forums in reference to this problem is to remove the existence of gun-free zones.
Gun-free zones are referring to a law in which according to the Texas Penal Code, “A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05.”
Some of the places where certain weapons, such as firearms, are prohibited include but are not limited to:
- on the physical premises of a school or educational institution
- on the premises of a polling place on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress
- on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court
- on the premises of a racetrack
- in or into a secured area of an airport
Whatever the reasons may be behind the theft of firearms, it is highly suggested that guns are not stored in vehicles but if they must be, then to store them in a locked box or attach a cable lock to the weapons.