Chelsea Parsons: A gun is stolen in the US every two minutes –

In the early morning of July 5, NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia was killed by a gunman in an ambush attack while patrolling a Bronx neighborhood. Just weeks earlier, on the other side of the country, a UPS employee entered his San Francisco workplace armed with two guns and opened fire, killing three of his co-workers and injuring two others before turning the gun on himself. While seemingly unrelated, these examples of gun violence share one common feature: Both were committed with stolen firearms.

It a well-known fact of modern American life that we collectively own a massive number of guns — the best guess places the number at about 300 million. One of the risks inherent in this level of gun ownership is theft. Indeed, a new analysis by the Center for American Progress of data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found that a gun is stolen in the U.S. every two minutes.

The ATF, which is responsible for oversight of the gun industry, has been particularly concerned about burglaries and robberies of gun stores, finding that the former have increased 48 percent and the latter 175 percent between 2012 and 2016. During this period, nearly 31,500 guns were stolen from gun stores.

But it’s not just gun stores that are targets for thieves. In 2015 alone, gun owners reported $164 million worth of guns stolen nationwide. Local police agencies have sounded the alarm about a rise in thefts from vehicles, urging gun owners to leave their weapons at home or lock them securely if they are left in a car.

These thefts represent more than financial losses to gun owners and dealers. Guns are both dangerous weapons and durable goods.

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