Chicago Firearm Theft Demonstrates Importance of Industry Safety

By Larry Keane

Chicago Police iStock-625383406
Chicago has terrible gun violence, despite some of the strictest gun laws in the world. IMG iStock-625383406

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot has long ignored criminal culpability when it comes to violence in the Windy City. She instead infringes on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and hamstrings law enforcement charged with keeping streets and neighborhoods safe. 

A recent Chicago Tribune report detailed the break-in of a firearm retailer by a criminal who fled with a stolen firearm. That firearm was subsequently used in more than two dozen criminal shootings in Chicago, including two fatalities. Smash-and-grab break-ins are serious crimes. Firearms stolen from retailers are a menace to public safety and no one wants to prevent these thefts more than members of the firearm industry, especially retailers.

Surprising no one, criminals don’t follow the laws. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics data shows the overwhelming majority of firearms used by criminals to commit their crimes are obtained through the black market or by theft.

The tragic saga of this stolen firearm reinforces the importance of the cooperative partnership between NSSF and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) through Operation Secure Store (OSS) to combat these crimes. It’s a comprehensive initiative to help firearm retailers make well-informed security-related decisions to deter and prevent break-ins and thefts.

Proof Positive

Firearm industry safety initiatives like OSS are working. Surveys were conducted by ATF through the first six months of 2021 and the data bear this out. ATF surveys showed 111 firearm retail burglaries that resulted in 959 stolen firearms during the first half of the year. The same six-month stretch in 2020 saw 284 burglaries and more than 3,700 stolen firearms. That’s 61 percent fewer burglaries and a 71 percent reduction in stolen firearms over the same time period last year.

But OSS has an even longer track record of success. According to ATF data, firearm retailer burglaries peaked in 2017 at 577 and dropped to 343 by 2019, a 40 percent reduction. Because of OSS efforts, the number of firearms stolen in burglaries dropped from 7,841 to 4,490, a 42 percent reduction during the same time.

One of Many Programs

Operation Secure Store is just one initiative among others by the firearm industry to reduce criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms. The industry’s Real Solutions. Safer Communities campaign includes the public awareness program, Don’t Lie For the Other Guy, to reduce the instances of illegal straw purchases of firearms. Don’t Lie reminds the public they could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if they lie on the background check form when they are acting as a straw purchaser for someone who cannot legally do so themselves or an illegal firearms trafficker. NSSF joined with industry partners at ATF, DOJ, and local law enforcement at a local firearm retailer in Chicago earlier this year in June to relaunch the Don’t Lie campaign.

During that event, NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi reinforced the commitment from the industry to continue to support Operation Secure Store, Don’t Lie, and other industry safety initiatives. Bartozzi explained that NSSF and ATF work collaboratively to prevent firearms from reaching those who should never possess them. The partnership endures because both NSSF and the ATF know they are effective.

The firearm industry recognizes serious and effective programs to reduce criminal firearm misuse require meaningful partnerships with industry members and local and federal agencies. Gun control politicians like Mayor Lightfoot blame the wrong people.

The firearm industry will continue the hard work needed to further reduce these crimes.


About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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DIYinSTL
DIYinSTL
14 days ago

The question remains: Has the availability of 80% frames and receivers reduced gun theft?

Tionico
Tionico
14 days ago

WHEN will the justice system begin meting out sentences in accor wiht the LAWS when gun thieves are caught? ANyone else remember the heist two, maybe three years back where an inside crew diverted several pallets of new Ruger firearms from a UPS facility I think in Indiana or therea outs? Some four hundred new guns were stolen. Last I heard they’d caught the perps, recovered a few of the guns, and they got a mere slap on the wrist for getting caught. At five years per gu stolen, that SHOULD have put these erps beind bars for two thousand… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
14 days ago
Reply to  Tionico

I remember a story like that and I think it was in Tennessee. Here in OreGONE if someone steals your gun out of your locked safe and the gun has a lock on it and they defeat all of it, you are responsible for anything that gun does for two years. They should be claimed as the owners of those weapons and be held accountable for anything that gun does for two years after they sold it, LOL. OreGONE headed for hell faster than any other state where possession of illegal drugs are legal, illegal aliens are legal but the… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
14 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

Sounds like a strong argument for anonymous gun ownership. Don’t report it stolen and never admit you ever owned it or even saw it.
Quite backwards when cops go after victims, but also far too common.

swmft
swmft
15 days ago

dissolve the atf, nra can go with them.

Hazcat
Hazcat
15 days ago

Corrupt NRA once again saying ‘Just work with the ATF’. NRA, always willing to ‘negotiate’ your rights away.

Finnky
Finnky
14 days ago
Reply to  Hazcat

Hey we pay the atf as law enforcement. What’s wrong with insisting they occasionally do their job? Besides – fighting actual crime may provide a little distraction from persecuting the rest of us.