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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201983 Find in a Library
Title: Stolen Firearms: Arming the Enemy
Author(s): Jim Kessler; Lisa Kimbrough
Corporate Author: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: December 2002
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation
Washington, DC
Sale Source: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation
Washington, DC
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on the first State-by-State analysis of firearm theft and crime, with the intention of alerting policymakers, law enforcement, gun stores, firearms manufacturers, and families to the facts that gun theft is common and preventable and has serious consequences.
Abstract: The study found that 1.7 million firearms were stolen from homes and elsewhere over the period between January 1993 and August 2002, and these thefts varied widely from State to State. The States of Alaska, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Georgia had firearm theft rates greater than twice the national average. Firearm theft rates were dramatically lower in States with safe storage laws. Licensed gun stores were also targets of theft. The stolen guns have fueled the black market in crime guns. Although Federal law has targeted gun thefts, violations of this law are rarely prosecuted. The Americans for Gun Safety Foundation will soon launch a public-education campaign through licensed firearms dealers to encourage gun owners to properly store firearms to prevent theft. Pawnshops and licensed gun dealers should first be permitted, and then required, to check all used firearms they purchase through the FBI's Stolen Gun File Registry to determine whether the guns they are purchasing are stolen. U.S. attorneys should aggressively enforce Federal gun laws and investigate and prosecute stolen firearms cases. Also, gun-lock manufacturers should develop safety locks that cannot easily be defeated by a criminal, such that a stolen gun with a proper lock cannot be used. High-quality gun locks, or an alternative storage device, should be sold as a requirement of each firearm sale. Finally, States and the Federal Government should consider passing safe-storage laws as a means to reduce firearm theft. 3 tables
Main Term(s): Offense statistics
Index Term(s): Federal law violations; Federal legislation; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Illicit firearms; Prosecution; Theft offenses
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