Guns Being Stolen From Cars at a Record Rate

antoniodiaz /
antoniodiaz /

As crimes involving firearms are becoming more widespread, many are questioning the seemingly endless supply of guns to the streets. With many conservative experts blaming home invasions and other crimes as a source, liberals point their finger at gun shows and what they call loopholes in the laws. Unsurprisingly, the truth is stranger than fiction.

Gun safety group Everytown analyzed FBI data from the last decade and discovered that the major source for guns used in violent crimes turns out to be from the cars of legitimate gun owners.

Climbing nearly every year, the group found that the numbers skyrocketed during the COVID pandemic and seemed to rise correspondingly to legal gun sale records. Analyzing the FBI’s data from 337 cities across 44 states, they had a massive sampling to draw from and provided copies to the Associated Press.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Steve Dettelbach points to this data to underscore a larger problem. People leaving their firearms improperly stored and unsecured makes it easy for criminals to snatch them up and move on to their next crime.

Dettelback pointed out that the people stealing weapons from these cars aren’t taking them to go target shooting or even hunting. Instead, they become a tool for the next crimes, as well as for the protection of gangbangers and drug dealers.

In 2022, an Everytown report indicates nearly 112,000 guns were reported stolen, with over half of them coming from cars. Parked in driveways and on the roadside outside of their owner’s homes, these cars were left unmonitored. This means the firearms were left improperly secured inside them and ripe for the picking. Comparatively, in 2013, cars were the source location in only a quarter of all gun thefts. To put it in better perspective, in 2022, a gun was stolen from a car roughly every nine minutes across the US.