According to a new explosive report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), for the fifth consecutive year, the reported number of burglaries at gun stores across the United States is surging.
The ATF’s annual Federal Firearms Licensee Burglary and Robbery Statistics report released on Tuesday paints a troubling truth of organized crime gangs targeting gun stores.
The statistics are shocking: the number of robberies of gun stores reported to the ATF have increased 227 percent since 2013 and burglaries rose 71 percent during the same period.
The report found there were 577 gun store burglaries in 2017, an increase from 558 in 2016. “Since 2013, 27,685 guns were reported stolen in 2,315 burglaries from gun stores licensed by the federal government, including 7,841 guns last year,” said the Giffords Law Center.
The Giffords Law Center expresses concern how the federal law does not require gun dealers to follow a strict code for building security or securing storage of inventory.
On the state level, some states like New Jersey have more stringent security requirements for gun shops, which has led to a decline in gun store robberies. According to the Giffords Law Center, “over the past five years in New Jersey, there have been just two reported burglaries with a total of three guns stolen.”
David Chipman, senior policy advisor at Giffords, and a retired ATF Special Agent for two decades issued the following announcement:
“Criminals know that gun stores can be easy targets to obtain armfuls of firearms in a matter of minutes. Every successful break-in opens a new threat to our community and puts law enforcement officers at risk.
While we should all be alarmed and outraged that gun store burglaries increased for five years in a row, it’s important to remember that theft from gun stores is preventable — just look at what’s happening in New Jersey.
When states require gun dealers to take responsible steps to prevent their stores from being burglarized — by properly securing not only their stores, but the firearms themselves — they eliminate the risk of thieves taking off with weapons. We know how to solve this problem, but we need more states to acknowledge this issue and put best practices for reducing gun store theft into action.”
A spokeswoman for the ATF provided a statement to Bloomberg about the manner, who said it is investigating into the data in order “to identify causation for the uptick in these types of crimes over the past five years.”
Perhaps, our article titled “The Next Hurdle For Retailers,” could offer some insight into the ebb and flows of the flourishing organized crime networks in the United States. However, this week’s exposure of out of control gun store robberies is a telling sign that the organized crime networks are heavily arming themselves. The one question we ask: why?