If there’s one thing everyone should be able to agree on, it’s that stolen guns are a huge problem. They’re typically the ones used by criminals for violent crime, for one thing. They’re also someone else’s property that shouldn’t have been taken in the first place.
And there are a number of places where guns can be stolen; gun stores and people’s homes being the first likely to come to mind.
But in Yakima, Washington, a whole lot are coming from one particular source.
Unfortunately vehicle theft and gun theft go hand in hand in Yakima. Police say vehicle theft is ongoing problem for drivers and police. In fact on average Yakima Police see anywhere from 500 to 700 stolen vehicles every year.
Authorities say a lot of times vehicles are stolen for “joy rides” and are found crashed hours later. Before they abandoned the thieves steal what they can in the vehicle including guns.
Making sure your gun is locked while in your vehicle is vitally important say police because they say 50% of all guns stolen in Yakima come from vehicle prowls. Authorities say the guns are then used on the street in many serious crimes including gang related shootings. Authorities say do everything you can to prevent becoming a victim.
Note that, unlike many places, these stolen guns aren’t being chalked up to people not locking their doors.
That’s an interesting tidbit.
Yet I also can’t help but think about gun-free zones and how that might play into this, particularly as such zones are being expanded all across the nation.
See, people who carry a gun are often the type who put the gun on with their pants in the morning and carry it all day until they get home. That means they’re armed just about any time they’re out of the house.
If they have to stop by, say, the courthouse for some reason, they’re going to be forced to leave their gun in the car.
The stolen guns in Yakima are taken from cars that are stolen themselves. Gun-free zones increase the number of guns in cars at any given time. As a result, it provides more opportunities for guns to be stolen.
It’s not difficult to see how this goes.
Yes, people can and probably should invest in vehicle-mounted gun safes, but that’s expensive and most people probably don’t hit gun-free zones often enough to even think about it until there’s a need. The truth is that a lot of people won’t think about it until that moment when it’s a little too late to get one.
So, they leave it in their cars. They even lock the doors because they’ve read the stories about guns being stolen out of unlocked cars. They know better.
But stolen guns don’t just come from unlocked cars, and that means we’re going to see more of them as more and more states like Washington decide to restrict where people can carry.
What’s more, they’ll blame the gun owners and say they were irresponsible, never acknowledging their own role in these thefts.