How gun dealers prevent thefts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How gun dealers prevent thefts

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Georgia has a serious gun theft problem. In fact, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives says only Texas and Florida had more thefts from licensed gun dealers last year.

Jason Sheffield and his family having been running pawn shops in Albany for more than 20 years, and have done several things to improve security over the years.

Firearms account for about 30 percent of sales at Dawson Rd. Jewelry and Pawn, and when the store is closed, owner Jason Sheffield makes sure those guns are securely stored.

He says after a few break-ins years ago, they installed bars on the windows.

"The burglars broke the window, jumped in, grabbed whatever they could and they primarily targeted guns, and they got out the door with a few guns that time, and then we put bars on the windows and solved that problem," says Owner Jason Sheffield.

He says when they opened their second store, they had another rock thrown thru the window before they could install bars, but since then have had no major problems.

They also run cables through the guns and put them up at night.

"I mean you can't ever think about blocking it out completely, but you can at least slow someone down and that's sort of the main goal. Between the alarm system and the bars on the windows and other things like that, and we try to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," he says.

Law enforcers say criminals tend to look for expensive items like guns in cars as well, and recommend you never leave a firearm in a car for an extended period of time.

"When they have these guns in their vehicle they tend to forget about them and if you leave your vehicle unattended for a period of time don't leave them in there, and never leave valuables in your vehicles," says Captain Tom Jackson, with Dougherty County Police.

People who are licensed dealers are required by law to report lost or stolen guns within 48 hours.  The ATF's numbers are based on those reports.

According to that ATF report, Federal Firearms Licensees in Georgia reported 134 thefts or losses involving 899 guns in 2013.

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