Want to Lose Your Gun? Come to Texas, Study Says

Categories: Texas

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Does Gov. Rick Perry still have his gun?
It's pretty darn well known around here that most Texans love their guns. If you're from Texas, it's a fair bet that you can boast at least one relative who basically owns an arsenal that would be enough firepower to defend a small country, if the need arose.

Earlier this year, a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll was conducted and of the 1,200 people surveyed, nearly half said they were gun owners, which is a lot of people packing heat. On top of that, of those who said they own a gun, 44 percent of them said they owned two to five guns, which all translates, unsurprisingly, to a hell of a lot of guns in the Lone Star State.

There's a flip side to everything, though, and while we have a ton of guns in Texas, it turns out this is the place to be if you want to get your gun lost or stolen. There were more guns lost or stolen in Texas last year than in any other state in the country, according to a study recently released by the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The study found that more guns were reported lost or stolen in Texas than in any other state in the country, to the tune of 18,874, or about 10 percent of the guns reported lost or stolen for the entire country.

Back in January, President Obama issued a directive ordering the study in the midst of his push for gun control, before the legislative effort met its death in the U.S. Congress earlier this year. Why does the government care about these lost or stolen guns? The report addresses that right off:

"Lost and stolen firearms pose a substantial threat to public safety and to law enforcement," the report states. "Those that steal firearms commit violent crimes with stolen guns, transfer stolen firearms to others who commit crimes, and create an unregulated secondary market for firearms, including a market for those who are prohibited by law from possessing a gun."

Because law enforcement officials aren't required to report lost or stolen firearms that are reported to them, and because private citizens aren't required to report when a firearm is stolen or lost in the first place, it is acknowledged in the report that getting truly accurate numbers is pretty difficult. However, there's better luck with those who are Federal Firearms Licensees, because Congress enacted a law requiring them to report a lost or stolen gun within 48 hours of discovering the gun is missing, according to the report.

Bureau officials relied on data from the National Crime Information Center to put together the study, and it's noted in the report that this isn't even taking into account the firearms that are lost or stolen and go unreported. So there are definitely more guns out there wandering footloose, fancy-free and unregistered than the report can account for.
And the odds are good that a significant portion of those guns are in Texas.



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6 comments
SoSezYou
SoSezYou

Yes, a whole load of people drooling to have a weapon, but without enough common sense to know how to store it. 

flemcomics
flemcomics

Yes, there are more guns lost or stolen here than anywhere else - much in the same way that I would wager there are more snowmobiles lost or stolen in Alaska than any other state. 

And as noted, all guns in Texas are unregistered. All of my guns are apparently "footloose and fancy free," although I still have yet to see them get up and wander around by themselves.

tcruse
tcruse

Yes it sounds like a lot of guns lost or stolen.  For a valid comparision, you would need to look a number lost as a per centage of total ownership.  Also, understand that the reported lost or stolen guns are all legally owned guns, criminals to not report the guns that are stolen from each other.

Also, when you compare to the total guns lost (given away) by ATF (Fast and Furious), MN gun sting, and Parks Department the number is really small.  We know that many of the guns lost by the feds went directly to organized crime.

Guns in Texas are not registered, so last statement has no meaning. 

SoSezYou
SoSezYou

@flemcomics You need to understand that YOU is just you. When the stats correctly state that this state leads the nation in lost/stolen firearms what it is really indicating is a majority of gun owners not having a clue how to properly store and secure their weapons...and have a lazy attitude to their potential deadly effects. Also, the level at which one brags about "all their guns" is inversely proportional to their ability to use common sense. 

SoSezYou
SoSezYou

@tcruse Well, it can be construed that all those lost and especially the stolen "legal" guns are now in the hands of the criminals...and they thank you. What's funny is, gun rights types use the criminals as having guns as the reason they have guns...yet you are the best suppliers to the crooks...and then you go buy more. A never ending cycle that keeps the NRA happy. 

tcruse
tcruse

@SoSezYou Lost does not always means stolen by a criminal.  It could mean "lost" as in it fell overboard from the boat or "I thought loaned that gun to Joe, but he does not remember getting it"  There are lots of "kitchen table" FFL dealers in this area, some of them have FFL merely to support their hobby of collecting/trading guns.  There are also lots of "undocumented people" going through that are not known for purchase when theif is easier.  My point is that there is not enough detail to make the "piublished" numbers have much meaning.

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