ATF statistics show high number of stolen guns in Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

ATF statistics show high number of stolen guns in Georgia

(Source:WALB) (Source:WALB)
(WALB) -

1,539 lost and stolen guns have hit the streets in Georgia this past year.

A growing problem that members of law enforcement said they are seeing too often.

"Guns in the wrong hands is always a problem and that is the problem of this country right now," said Captain Maurice Holmes, Thomasville PD.

In Georgia, 1,069 guns were stolen in burglaries. 75 were reported as a larceny.

Almost 400 guns were reportedly lost by gun owners.

"Guns are very sensitive items, the problem is as far as gun security, that's where the lack is coming in at," said Holmes.

In Thomasville, most of the guns were stolen during home burglaries and entering auto thefts.

Investigators said suspects in those crimes usually get away with more than one gun.

"In particularly cars, the doors are left unsecure. The suspects are able to go rummage through and find the guns. That's been our recent trend," said Holmes.

Nationally, gun thefts have gone up 51% percent, topping out at 9,281 in 2016.

That's compared to the 6,100 reported in 2015.

"It's a severe problem we have in the country, state and this city. It's one that needs to be addressed starting with the gun owners themselves," said Holmes.

Holmes said getting these guns back once they have been stolen is a rare occurrence.

He said most of the time gun owners don't keep record of the serial numbers or even the make and model of the gun.

"Generally, they are gotten back during the commission of a crime or during searches of individuals or vehicles,"

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