Stolen Guns And You

stolen guns are everyone's problemGuns are a lot like dogs; they do more for us they we could ever possibly do for them. Like our responsibility to take care of man’s best friend, we have a duty to keep our guns safe from prying eyes and hands. Stolen guns are a big problem for everyone.

Thinking you’re safe from gun theft because you live somewhere “it would never happen” is downright reckless. Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, where you live has no bearing on gun theft stats. About a million firearms are stolen annually, according to federal stats.

How to Properly Handle Firearms

Before we start talking about safe gun storage, let’s agree to a few things about handling a firearm as responsible gun owners/enthusiasts.

  • One, all guns are ALWAYS loaded – even when they aren’t.
  • Two, NEVER point a firearm at another person unless you’re prepared to take a life.

How to Safely Store Firearms

  1. Photograph your firearm, including serial number, for safekeeping in a location SEPARATE from where you keep your firearm and ammunition.
    If your gun is ever stolen, use this information when you contact police.
  2. Use a lock box, gun cabinet or gun safe to securely store your firearms.
    Pay close attention: It isn’t enough for those storage options to be secure. The room location MUST also be secured. A gun cabinet in an easily accessible room isn’t sheltered, especially if the keys are tossed in a drawer or equally easily-found hiding place.
  3. Ammunition should be stored in a separate and safe location.
    Like gun cabinets, ammunition storage bins MUST be housed in a protected location.
  4. Even though you’re storing your firearm and ammunition separately in secure locations, trigger locks render the guns inoperable by anyone but you.
    USE this in addition to a gun safe or another lock box device. Trigger locks are NOT a substitute security.
  5. A firearm left unattended in your car SHOULD be stored in a lock box and attached to your car seat by a cable.

Lastly, LIMIT the number of people who know where and how you secure your firearm, ammunition and keys. Telling anyone who will listen is like issuing an open invitation for gun theft. Don’t presume guns are stolen only by unknown home burglars. Firearms can be, and have been, stolen by family, friends, and acquaintances who want the weapon.


Practice common sense when storing your firearms. Remember: as a firearm owner, you are required by law to report any theft or loss of firearms from your stock within 48 hours to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as local law enforcement. Call your local law enforcement agency FIRST then file a loss claim report with the ATF.

IMPORTANT: if your firearm is stolen it may be held as evidence in the crime of theft (only if you reported it) and any additional cases should it be used to commit a secondary crime. Also, some law enforcement agencies keep stolen firearms or destroy them. Correctly safeguarding your firearm is part of being a responsible gun owner/enthusiast.

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About Bret Smith

I am a long-time lover of all things outdoors. Whether hunting, shooting, fishing or just hiking and camping, I take every opportunity to enjoy nature and share it with others.

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