Local law enforcements explains importance of reporting stolen firearms

VIDEO: Local law enforcements explains importance of reporting stolen firearms
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 8:49 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 10:13 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Law enforcement encourages gun owners to be more cautious with warmer weather, as crime rates increase during this time.

According to Amarillo’s Chief of Police, the Amarillo Police Department reports five to ten guns stolen out of cars each month.

While some things aren’t preventable, law enforcement says one of the key things to do to prevent theft and gun violence is to report it.

Chief Martin Birkenfeld says it is important to report all personal property stolen, especially firearms. He suggests gun owners be prepared by recording the serial number, make, and model, and also take a picture.

“If you don’t report it stolen there is no chance you are going to get it back obviously, but there is also a chance that it’s going to end up in the hands of a criminal and we need to be able to understand where that firearm came from,” explains Birkenfeld. “When we go back and trace the origin of the firearm, it could lead back to you which would cause us to come knock on your door and say, hey, this gun was used in a crime. Tell us where it’s at.”

He says that while APD reports rifles, shotguns, and even antique firearms have been stolen, the majority are handguns. Mainly because they are easy to transport and conceal.

The most common scenarios are handguns being stolen out of cars.

“We have a great number of guns stolen from cars both locked and unlocked. So if you leave your gun in your car, it’s likely that sooner or later it’s gonna get stolen, and then it goes into the hands of criminals,” says Birkenfeld.

Sheriff Thomas advises to never store a gun in your car, saying “It’s an invitation for some bad guy to break into that car and steal it.”

“Cars are wonderful, but they’re our biggest source of problems with stolen cars, stolen guns from cars, and other stolen property like purses and things like that that are left in cars. It’s easily preventable and could easily reduce our crime rate,” said Birkenfeld.

However, those that plan on keeping their firearm in their car need to make sure to store it securely and be responsible by using locks and safes.

“The harder we make it for stuff to get stolen, especially firearms, the safer our community is going to be,” states Birkenfeld.