Florida awash in $36M of stolen firearms, new report estimates - Florida Politics

Florida awash in $36M of stolen firearms, new report estimates

An estimated 80,000 guns are stolen from individual gun owners in Florida between 2012 and 2015, costing around $36 million, according to a new report published Tuesday.

The Center for American Progress, a progressive group based in Washington, released a state-by-state analysis of the scope of guns thefts in America, finding that a firearm  is stolen in the U.S. every two minutes and every 26 minutes from a private gun owner in the Sunshine State.

“In just one day, there are 720 guns stolen in the U.S. In Florida, it’s 55 a day. And those are just the reported thefts. Stolen guns put us all at risk,” said Patti Brigham, 1st vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida and co-chairs the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

Using data supplied by the FBI, the authors report that nearly half a billion dollars worth of guns were stolen from individual gun owners between 2012 and 2015, amounting to an estimated 1.2 million guns. Just nine states and Washington, D.C., have laws mandating that gun owners report when guns in their possession are stolen or lost, and there is nothing in federal law that requires gun dealers to implement any specific security measures to help protect their dangerous inventory.

The authors report that more than 80,000 guns in Florida were stolen between 2012-2015, but that number is only an estimate. The FBI just reports on the value of guns reported stolen, and the Center for American Progress then calculated a number of guns based on an average gun price of $450.

An official with the Center for American Progress provided the breakdown by year in terms of the number of stolen guns: 20,745 in 2012; 19,521 in 2013; 19,411 in 2014 and 20,502 in 2015.

Illinois Democratic Representative Brad Schneider on Tuesday introduced legislation to help prevent thefts from gun stores. That bill would require licensed gun dealers to implement certain security measures to ensure that guns are stored securely during nonbusiness hours, and will direct the U.S. Attorney General to implement regulations requiring additional security measures for licensed gun dealers.

 

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa for 15 years. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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