Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives released its annual report on stolen firearms for the year of 2016 and the number of stolen guns reported across the U.S., and Georgia alone, is shocking.
In 2012, ATF reported 4,340 firearms were stolen during a burglary in the United States. In 2016, the number jumped to 7,488. That is about a 75% increase.
Georgia ranks 3rd out of 50 states for having the most stolen guns again in 2016, and Nero Priester, Public Information Officer for ATF’s Atlanta Division said something else increases along with the number. The crime committed with the weapon.
“There has always been gun store break-ins and robberies, but for some reason here recently there has been a significant uptake,” Priester said.
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Allen Rollins said the numbers don’t surprise him. Last year, the sheriff’s office recovered more than 1,000 stolen guns and most of them were stolen for a reason.
“They stole the gun from you. They are going to use it for something else. They may sell it. They may trade it. They may use it in a homicide,” Rollins said.
When a gun is stolen, he said we all pay the consequences.
“It’s kind of difficult to get your gun back after it’s been stolen because sadly enough it has been used in another type of crime,” Rollins said. “Even if you have somebody that was caught with drugs and they have the gun, it’s evidence in the case.”