Bloomberg News reported Friday that gun store robberies have increased by an alarming 227 percent since 2013 and burglaries have spiked 71 percent during the same period, raising the question whether so-called “universal background check” laws are a feel-good exercise in futility.
The Bloomberg story comes two weeks to the day after American Handgunner’s “Insider Online” report on gun store thefts.
Likewise, the theft problem has been previously explored by Liberty Park Press and The Conservative Firing Line following the smash-and-grab December robbery of a Bellevue, Washington gun store and similar capers in Phoenix and other cities.
Activists frustrated at increasing erosion of their Second Amendment rights have been grumbling from one end of the country to the other that criminals don’t buy guns, they steal guns. In the process, they bypass all required background checks, and any other applicable gun laws that only seem to inconvenience honest citizens. They also violate laws against robbery and/or burglary, property destruction and, at times, auto theft. The Bellevue robbers used a stolen truck to ram through the front doors and grab some four dozen handguns.
Bloomberg’s report notes:
“In 2013, 3,355 firearms were taken in burglaries, compared with 7,841 in 2017, with a steady increase each year. The trend is slightly different for robberies, which tend to leave perpetrators less time to gather up guns: that number increased from 96 in 2013 to 370 in 2016, but fell to 288 last year.
“Texas gun licensees lost the most firearms in burglaries last year, 769, followed by 456 in Alabama and 427 in both Colorado and Georgia. That’s a big decrease for Georgia, which topped the states at 1,069 such stolen firearms last year.”
Another problem is that robbers these days are stealing more guns; that is, the quantity of stolen guns is apparently climbing, with more guns stolen per incident and more thefts overall. That translates to more firearms in the illicit pipeline, so while law-abiding citizens from Seattle to Sarasota go through the motions, and the paperwork, to exercise a fundamental right, criminals have no such barriers.
While this simple logic seems to escape anti-gunners, it is crystal clear to gun owners, many of whom gathered in Olympia, Washington earlier this week for state legislative hearings on several gun control measures, and will be back next week for more of the same.
It seems to beg the question often asked by rights activists of gun prohibitionists and politicians who push their agendas: Whose side are you on?