Atlanta’s Growing Problem With Guns Stolen Out Of Cars

Atlanta police believe a recent surge in car break-ins in Mid­town is more than ran­dom crime. Mean­while, nation­al report­ing has found Atlanta is the country’s lead­ing city when it comes to guns stolen out of cars.

Police are increas­ing­ly frus­trat­ed that there’s only so much they can do to stop these thefts.

Over the last two weeks, 120 cars were bro­ken into dur­ing two sprees in Mid­town. But Atlanta Police Sgt. War­ren Pickard says, in many cas­es, the thieves are leav­ing obvi­ous­ly valu­able items behind.

What’s con­cern­ing to us is that a large amount of guns are being tak­en from these vehi­cles,” said Pickard, who said 15 firearms were stolen out of these cars. So far this year, more than 600 guns have been stolen from vehi­cles in Atlanta.

Bri­an Freskos is a reporter with The Trace, an inde­pen­dent online news site that cov­ers gun vio­lence in the U.S. He com­pared the num­ber of guns report­ed stolenout of cars in 25 large Amer­i­can cities.

As for stolen guns out of cars, yes, [Atlanta] was by far the high­est,” said Freskos.

Last year, 857 guns were tak­en from vehi­cles in Atlanta. That’s twice the num­ber of Char­lotte, North Car­oli­na, which came in sec­ond place with just over 400.

Pickard said it seems like there should be a sim­ple solu­tion.

Our police offi­cers are not allowed to leave guns in vehi­cles unat­tend­ed, whether it’s their per­son­al weapon or city weapon, unless it’s in a safe,” he said. Atlanta police recent­ly released a pub­lic ser­vice announce­ment rec­om­mend­ing peo­ple fol­low that lead. But rec­om­mend­ing is all they can do.

San Fran­cis­co just passed a city ordi­nance penal­iz­ing peo­ple who leave guns in their vehi­cles. But Atlanta can’t do that. Accord­ing to Geor­gia law, that kind of gun con­trol would have to come from the state leg­is­la­ture.

I am not for any law that is going to put any­body in jail or fine them because they for­got to take a firearm out of their vehi­cle,” said Jer­ry Hen­ry, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Geor­gia Car­ry, which advo­cates for gun rights. “Let’s go get the guys that are break­ing in and put them in jail and leave them in there.”

But Atlanta police said they’ve been find­ing anoth­er prob­lem while inves­ti­gat­ing these cas­es.

Many gun own­ers don’t know the ser­i­al num­ber of their firearms, mak­ing it near­ly impos­si­ble for police to track them down. In the last year and a half, Atlanta police have tak­en these incom­plete reports on more than 500 stolen guns.

So essen­tial­ly those guns can stay out in gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion, in the hands of bad guys, for­ev­er, and that’s very con­cern­ing,” Pickard said.

These hard-to-trace, stolen guns can have a big impact out­side the state as well, accord­ing to the Bureau of Alco­hol Tobac­co and Firearms.

The num­ber of guns from Geor­gia that end up used in crimes or con­fis­cat­ed by police else­where is the high­est in the nation.

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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