Sharp Rise in Car Gun Thefts Seen in Last 10 Years

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Sharp Rise in Car Gun Thefts Seen in Last 10 Years
Biggest source of stolen guns in the US are CARS

Over the last ten years, the number of guns stolen from cars in the United States has gone up three times, making them the biggest source of stolen guns in the country. This information comes from an analysis of FBI data done by the gun safety group Everytown.

The rate of stolen guns from cars went up almost every year, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when there was a big increase in people buying weapons in the U.S. The report looked at FBI data from 337 cities in 44 states and was given to The Associated Press.

Some of these stolen guns have been used in crimes. For example, in July 2021, someone used a gun taken from an unlocked car in Riverside, Florida, to kill a 27-year-old Coast Guard member while she was trying to stop a car burglary in her neighborhood.

This worrying trend shows why it’s important for Americans to lock up their firearms safely. Steve Dettelbach, who is the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), says that his agency has found links between stolen guns and violent crimes. He says these stolen guns usually end up in the hands of dangerous people who can’t buy guns legally, like gang members or drug dealers.

According to the Everytown report, nearly 112,000 guns were reported stolen in 2022, and more than half of those were taken from cars. This is a big jump from 2013 when only about a quarter of stolen guns came from cars.

Sharp Rise in Car Gun Thefts Seen in Last 10 Years
Biggest source of stolen guns in the US are CARS

Stolen guns have also led to tragic accidents, like when a 14-year-old boy in St. Petersburg, Florida, accidentally shot and killed his 11-year-old brother with a gun he found in an alley. That gun had been stolen from an unlocked car a few days earlier.

On average, at least one gun is stolen from a car every nine minutes. But this number is probably even higher because not everyone reports stolen guns, and only some states require it.

Sarah Burd-Sharp, from Everytown, says that every gun stolen from a car makes it more likely to be used in a violent crime. It’s not clear why this trend is happening, but the report found that states with looser gun laws have higher rates of gun thefts from cars.

In Savannah, Georgia, leaders passed a law requiring people to lock up their guns left inside cars after more than 200 guns were stolen from unlocked cars in just one year. However, the state’s attorney general is against this law.

The ATF also says that theft is a big way guns end up in the hands of criminals. Between 2017 and 2021, more than 1 million guns were reported stolen, and most of them were taken from individuals. However, the ATF can’t share detailed information about where stolen guns end up because of the law. They can only give this information to police who are investigating a crime.


By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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