ATF Sounds Warning Bell: Criminals’ Are Targeting America’s Gun Stores
Living in a state like Nevada means dealing with anti-gun politicians in California claiming your state is the source of nearly every firearm used in a criminal act. The same goes for folks in Indiana, who have to deal with Chicagoans claiming the city’s gangbangers are buying firearms via private sales at gun shows, online and through straw buyers using bona fide FFL dealers. That just isn’t the case.
Perhaps the greatest source of firearms used in criminal acts is the oldest one that exists – burglaries and robberies. Bonnie and Clyde used to use true military-grade firearms, like the Browning Automatic Rifle, by knocking off National Guard Armories.
Certainly, the military remains a source of firearms for criminals – when they manage to pay off the right people. In the case of the Obama administration and its infamous Fast and Furious fiasco, federal agents were the ones providing the firearms directly to criminals, including Islamic terrorists in Paris.
ATF records show a recent massive surge in burglaries and robberies targeting gun stores across the nation. The burglaries happen about twice as often as robberies.
That is because gun store staff and those at pawn shops that sell firearms, as well as many of their customers, are packing heat. They only call 911 after the bullets potentially fly and bodies fall.
That thought alone discourages most would-be robbers from targeting gun stores. Instead, they mostly prefer breaking and entering during off hours.
The ATF in 2012 reported a total of 377 burglaries of licensed gun stores across the nation. Four years later, that number rose to 558, which is a 48 percent increase over four years. That is a massively large increase of gun store burglaries, and most of those happen in states known for selling lots of firearms.
The ATF says Texas, Florida and Georgia are the ones with the most thefts. Those states have sizeable populations and lots of brick and mortar gun stores.
When weighing actual robberies of gun stores, those are rising even faster. In 2012, the ATF reported just a dozen robberies of licensed gun stores across the nation. That number rose to 33 in 2016 – a 175 percent increase in four years. In total, the ATF says robbers and thieves stole 7,858 firearms from license gun dealers in 2016. That is a 76 percent increase from the number stolen in 2012.
After the firearms are stolen, they most often wind up on the black market, where they often sell for top dollar. Many of the firearms wind up in the largest and most restrictive cities in the nation.
The reason for that would be twofold. The first is criminals have their own distribution networks and channels. They even have their own ways of advertising when then have hot firearms available.
The other reason stolen firearms often wind up in large cities with highly restrictive gun laws is the lack of armed, law-abiding citizens. When the vast majority of the populace doesn’t embrace the Second Amendment, they become easy victims.
Much like sheep led to slaughter in “gun-free zones,” those who live in large urban centers where firearms are not accepted, if not outright banned, are willful victims for the wolves who would do them harm.
In Washington State an organized group targeted and burglarized a gun store and made off with about 100 firearms. A teen later was caught trying to sell some of them via social media. He advertised “Glizzies” for sale, which is street slang for Glock handguns.
Some of those firearms wound up in the hands of felons. Some were used in the commission of felonious crimes. About 70 percent remain unaccounted and out in the black market.
So, when it comes to obtaining firearms for illegal purposes, criminals rely on their one tried and true tactics – criminal activity. Theft is the greatest friend a criminal who wants a firearm has. That makes it important for licensed gun dealers to secure their stock after hours and prevent the wrong element from abusing firearms and eroding Second Amendment rights.