GALLATIN POLICE RELEASE INFORMATION ON GUNS STOLEN FROM CARS
Most Guns Stolen from Unlocked Cars at Residences
GALLATIN – The Gallatin Police Department (GPD) has released data showing the number of guns stolen from vehicles. According to the GPD report, 40 guns were stolen from vehicles in the city limits over the past five years. During 2017 through 2019, seven guns were stolen from vehicles each year. That figure more than doubled in 2020 to 15 guns, and then dipped to only four guns stolen from vehicles in 2021.
“This is a crime of opportunity that tends to involve teenagers,” said Chief Bandy. “I don’t think thieves are looking for guns specifically, so I think that’s why there’s not an identifiable trend. Possibly more people were using their cars for personal business rather than going to work during the pandemic and that could explain the spike in 2020.”
Of the 40 guns stolen from cars between 2017 and 2021, 80% of the vehicles were parked at residences. 57% of those vehicles were unlocked, and 87% of the guns stolen were handguns. Gallatin Police report during the same five-year period, 62 residents reported guns stolen from their homes.
While the majority of cars were parked at the gun-owner’s residence, guns were also stolen from cars parked at restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and recreational parking areas. Most guns had been left under a car seat, in the glove box or the center console of the car.
“There’s some irony that a gun intended to protect yourself becomes a safety issue when it’s stolen,” said Gallatin Police Chief Donald Bandy. “When you think about your gun potentially being involved in a crime…there could be tragic consequences to not securing it properly.”
Law enforcement agencies encourage residents to use gun cases and lock boxes to secure weapons if they choose to leave firearms in their vehicles. It’s also important to keep records of a gun’s serial number, so a stolen weapon can be traced back to its owner if found. Gallatin Police say seven of the guns listed in the report have been recovered.