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Gun Owners Are Making it Too Easy or Criminals to Get Firearms bearingarms.com blasts. “Yeah, I said it,” Bob Owens writes, “gun owners are making it too easy for criminals to get their hands on firearms. Fighting words, I know – but to me, the news stories of guns being stolen from vehicles, legislators calling for additional restrictions on the Second Amendment and law enforcement scolding gun owners are completely unnecessary. Why? Because we know better.”

Mr. Owens was enervated by a Fox news story out of St. Louis, Missouri. Gateway City police report that bad guys stole some 1800 guns this year. The cops called for gun owners to stash their gat in a lock box in their car. According to Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, “If we were able to get people to properly secure their guns, our crime would plummet in St. Louis.”

While I agree with Mr. Owens that gun owners should secure their firearms, the po-po’s preachy message is an open-and-shut case of victim blaming. Ms. Joyce’s comment is well out-of-order; irresponsible gun owners are not responsible for St. Louis’ “gun violence” problem. And while Mr. Owens’ correlation between lax firearms security and support for gun control may be accurate, but that doesn’t make it right.

As far as I know, stealing is illegal, regardless of how property is or isn’t secured. And the existence of “gun free zones” has more than a little something to do with firearms thefts form vehicles. So how much — if at all — are gun owners to blame for gun thefts?

113 Responses to Question of the Day: Are Gun Owners to Blame for Gun Thefts?

  1. Are car owners making it too easy to steal cars? Are credit card holders making it too easy to steal identities? Are box stores making it too easy to steal Chinese made crap?

    • Actually, yes. If you are careless, and leave your keys in your car, you are partially to blame when your car gets stolen. You can make it more difficult to steal your firearms. Don’t leave your firearms in an unsecure location when not in your control. If you leave your credit card the way some leave their firearm, you’d probably have a few random charges on it. It’s not PURELY your fault. But you can at least make an effort to stop the thieves.

      • When did morality change? Back in the day….what was not yours was to be left alone. If someone lifted your belongings, they were a thief/robber. There was no concept of the owner of property being responsible for keeping criminals from doing criminal things. In those days, did you risk losing stuff because you were careless? Of course. But there was no thought that somehow the victim of a crime becomes responsible for later criminal activity conducted with any stolen property.

        • The ludicrous emphasis on “sharing” that has been hammered into kids over the last couple of generations has broken down respect for private property. When I lived in a house of fifty guys in college, I was utterly amazed at how some would just walk into someone else’s room when no one was there and borrow a book or something without even asking. When one of my roommates missed a deadline because someone had taken one of his reference books I sounded off to the entire house about respecting people’s stuff — and I got jumped on for not understanding that everyone should share.

          So I made the point that sharing is voluntary, which means you have to ASK — and that if you don’t ask, there;s another word for it, which shares two few letters with “share”, and that word is “theft”. Then I got hollered at for telling people to be selfish!

          So it doesn’t surprise me how many people have the attitude that anything not nailed or bolted down is fair game.

      • Actually, yes. If you are careless, and leave your keys in your car, you are partially to blame when your car gets stolen.

        Uh… no. The criminal stealing anything – is 100% responsible for his stealing. Zero % punishment should be assigned the victim of theft. 100% punishment should be assigned to the perpetrator of theft. If you leave a floor mat on your porch and someone steals it – are you partially to blame for the theft? If someone steals your mailbox right off your front lawn – are you partially to blame that it was stolen? Absolutely not. Zero logical sense – whatsoever. I don’t buy the liberal nonsensical “enabler’s” concept that you are responsible for the community around you. Individuals make their own decisions. Communities do not. Communities are made of individuals. Blame and responsibly must be assigned on an individual level, and you are responsible for your actions – not others.

      • You can make it more difficult to steal your firearms.

        You can make it more difficult so that others don’t steal your floor mat in front of your house, or the mailbox on your lawn too. But it makes no logical sense whatsoever. Because you have accepted the risk they may be stolen. You also realize that if your mailbox is stolen, you shouldn’t feel responsible because it was stolen. Stealing has been against the law since almost forever. If you think that victims are responsible for having their stuff stolen by thieves and that if it isn’t nailed down and secure from theft… you may be a thief

        Don’t leave your firearms in an unsecure location when not in your control.

        Which one is not secure?

        A truck with the door unlocked and a rifle mounted on the back glass?
        A locked car or truck with firearm inside?
        A locked box inside a locked car?
        A locked safe bolted/welded inside a car with a biometric reader?
        A locked safe welded to structural steel welded to the frame of your car with a combination safe?
        A locked safe welded to structural steel welded to the frame of your car with a combination safe and dead switch for the onboard vehicular computer located hidden in your vehicle?

        Your lame nonsensical arbitrary bullshit on the term “unsecure” is certainly not accepted by me. There is nowhere to draw the line and for sake of freedom, we maximize freedom for all by making the theft illegal and allowing individuals to store whatever they want in the manner that they choose.

        If you don’t want your stuff stolen you can safeguard it in whatever manner you would like. But to suggest legislation or even the concept of blame – to me – because I store it in the manner I chose – I have nothing more for you but a bird and a verbal FO.

        If you leave your credit card the way some leave their firearm, you’d probably have a few random charges on it. It’s not PURELY your fault. But you can at least make an effort to stop the thieves.

        Nobody leaves their credit card lying around. They hand it to the clerk, cashier, or waiter/waitress and they disappear with the credit card and return with a receipt. And the thief of the victims information is not their fault. It is ludicrous to suggest that it is the victims fault when something of theirs “can” be stolen.

    • Yep.

      If the question is ‘who is to blame’ it is the criminal… but criminals are criminals so they don’t care. If the question is “are victims making it too easy” the answer is YES. I don’t think a victim is at fault for walking alone down a dark alley in a crime-ridden neighborhood, per se, but I would like them to stop doing that.

        • Not really, because if the police can’t keep their guns from being stolen it’s pointless to ask regular citizens to do it. Manage to get the police to keep their guns from being stolen, showing it can be done, before insisting others do.

        • Not a straw man, Bob. Straw man would be “Oh, so I suppose you want me to do (something absolutely ridiculous,) huh? Huh?”

          A case could be made that it’s a non sequitur.

  2. And women are making it too easy for men to become rapists. Good job, Bob; you just invoked the burqa justification.

  3. Ya, can’t carry them into work/store/school where it’s “SAFE [Act]” to be dis-armed, so you lock them in your car so that POS gun-grabber mfs can say they are still not happy.

    F’em all in the goat a##.

    Make a list of everyone complaining about gun thefts and hunt them when you suffer malice unarmed. Fair?

    /sarc + FU

    • I was thinking along those lines, Joe. Exactly *why* are people leaving their guns in their cars? How about you pass a law says everybody must carry their guns instead, open or concealed, we don’t care, and anybody says they can’t (like the “safe” act or anything else) gets arrested?

      And how about an expanded explanation of what happens when your bangers are caught with a stolen gun? A second slap on the wrist? Unless they’re under 18, when all is forgiven?

      • I shouldn’t have even mentioned the word “safe” without the caveat that the aholes pushing for safe are only looking to find a way to get a “toe-under-the-turtle” of confiscation.

        THE ONLY PATH TO CONFISCATION IS DEATH

        Where does it say that? In the line above. You can quote me.

  4. The legal term “attractive nuisance” turns the world upside down (but it has been settled law for at least 40yrs). The concept defends the intruder’s lack of control, whatever actions lead the intruder to be harmed, makes the victim responsible for the intruder’s crime. Same holds for guns, wherever located (carried, stored, situated). The law makes the individual liable for the criminal actions of others.

    So yes, owners are to blame for theft of firearms because: owners know guns are high value items, owners know people are likely to break into buildings and vehicles, owners know guns are dangerous.

    It is out of “attractive nuisance” law that gun storage laws are borne.

    • No we’re not. Attractive nuisance assumes that we put ourselves out there and make it known that there is soemthing to steal. We don’t. No gun owner willingly advertises that there are guns in his car. By your logic a convenience store is an ‘attractive nuisance’. Stop blaming the victim. If these imbeciles want gun owners to better protect their gats, why don’t they encourage store owners to provide places to secure a weapon if they don’t want people arms on the premises? Why do they encourage the creation of more places where people are forced to disarm?

      • All of the women-as-causing-rape analogies have merit. That doesn’t mean the status quo is ok.

        So, why can’t car makers be told to up the ante by making cars harder to break into? Putting designed-in strongboxes in cars?

        Sure, you won’t stop well-equipped professional thieves, (might slow them down!) but ignorant gang-bangers with IQs of 88?

        As a free-markets guy, realized when writing the above, it is sad to admit that oligarchic corporate entities like car companies actively resist market pressures, thinking (so very stupidly), they get to tell us what we want, so, (ugh) there is a time for people to push govt to push oligarchies (and leave small business alone.) This may be such an issue.

        • Hey TTAG staff! — How about a review or twelve of installable secure gun storage products for cars?

        • When I was younger and cars were readily reparable on the side of the road, I drilled through the floor of my trunk and bolted a steel toolbox to it to keep my tools from sliding all around. I’ve thought about doing that for guns, but for now I just figure “concealed means concealed…”

      • Sam is correct, I have a pool in my back yard surrounded a 6 foot privacy fence with a locked gate, and my yard has a chain-link fence all around it, so I have two fences protecting my pool. I have “no trespassing” signs all over the outside of the fence. if someone jumps my fence’s and gets hurt in my pool they can sue me because of the “attractive nuisance” laws in my state. Bullshit yes, I have to pay for an umbrella insurance policy to protect myself.

      • “No gun owner willingly advertises that there are guns in his car.”

        IDK about that. An NRA sticker, a Molon Labe sticker, and an “Insured by Smith and Wesson” sticker on a truck parked at the NFL stadium, county courthouse, or post office is a pretty good hint that there may be something worth stealing.

        I have no bumper stickers, don’t own an NRA cap, and when I need to transport my firearms they get loaded in the trunk at 4 am before my neighbors are awake, except for my EDC.

    • Doesn’t that kind of kill all the “honeypot” style stings the feds pull with drugs, hookers and kiddie porn?
      Oh, I get it. When I own a thing I’m presenting an “attractive nuisance” but when the feds plaster child pornography all over the internet and fly in pallets of heroin they’re doing the righteous work of THE LAW.

      • Ding, ding, ding, ding !!

        Nailed it.

        Government has no legal or moral obligation to protect the citizens from attack, but it does have the legal and moral obligation to protect you from yourself, unless that proves inconvenient to the government.

    • Attractive nuisance, as I understand it, generally applies to children and holds property owners liable for certain items on their property that might be attractive to children that cause them harm.

      If an adult suing on behalf of the child can prove that the item causing injury was left on the property in a way that attracted the child, then the court may rule that the property owner is liable for the child’s injury.

      As far as I know, it does not generally apply to actions of an adult who should in theory know better anyway. Regardless, your intruder analogy is a false one since an intruder is already committing a crime (trespassing, breaking and entering, auto theft) and therefore such a defense would be moot.

      • Don’t overthink it. The victim is officially the culprit; the robber would not have stolen the gun if it had not been present in the first place. Not talking about a “defense” for the intruder; talking about the reasoning for gun storage laws.

        • It might be a rationale, but it’s not a very good one. A better rationale would be simply that dangerous items should be secured under the reasonable person standard.

        • “Reasonable person” might be a good rationale, but it still leaves the victim as the culprit. Consider: person has power tools; tools are locked in a shed, stored in latched took box. Intruder breaks door and lock to enter shed. Steals hand-held power saw. Later cuts off finger using stolen power saw. The parallel to gun law is that the original owner, victim of a theft, is guilty of not taking stronger anti-theft measures, is liable for damages. A gun locked inside a residence or automobile should be sufficient. Heck, a gun placed out of view in an unlocked home or automobile should be enough. As it is, storage laws make the gun owner the instigator of a theft (didn’t harden the home/vehicle), relied only on ownership as protection against theft. The homeowner/tool owner is legally obligated to take action against a criminal, or face charges. This is a moral absurdity.

        • Certainly not required to take action by shooting the thief!? The most stringent protection possible!

      • You’re absolutely correct and the clueless poster relating attractive nuisance to anything other than tort law is wrong.

        • I think he once read the phrase “attractive nuisance” in a Time Life book and thought it sounded authoritative.

          He might as well have cited the Rule Against Perpetuities.

        • Analogies may be too much.

          Tell me, specifically, how the two concepts are effectively different? Owner legally possess something. A different person intrudes upon the property of the owner, and is injured. Law holds the homeowner (who is also a gun owner) liable for the actions of the non-owner.

          You come into my home, drop a glass vase on your foot, I am not morally responsible for your handling of my property without permission. You come into my home, steal my gun, I am not morally responsible for the subsequent damage to you or others. “The law” says different.

          BTW, adopting the discussion tactics of the left, the anti-gun crowd doesn’t look good on you,

        • Being held liable for not having your gun buried underground, somewhere in a national forest makes the victim of a theft the irresponsible person; same as “attractive nuisance” makes the owner liable for trespass and damage caused by another. Either way, the idea that the owner must be responsible for the acts of another who is violating the dwelling/vehicle of the owner set the law on its head.

        • Attractive nuisance is condition of the LAND that is visible to CHILDREN and attracts them to enter and suffer an injury. This is common law doctrine and is not recognized in every US state. The doctrine removes the defense that a LANDOWNER might assert that the children were trespassing, because in common law a landowner owed no duty of care to a trespasser.

          How a hidden gun in a car could magically attract ADULT thieves and be considered an attractive nuisance to children is beyond me, but then again, I have a law degree.

          Sam I Am, a Lawyer You Ain’t. A Tr0ll You Is.

        • In Oregon at least attractive nuisance isn’t just land, but facilities as well. It has been extended to vehicles and containers stored in the open. I don’t think it’s been stretched to parked cars yet, but even if it did the visible and accessible to a casual observer rule would apply.

        • Ralph, you’re assuming that Demanding Moms will not, over the next decade, convince legislators that Sam’s scenario is a good idea.

    • Attractive nuisance requires that the “nuisance” be visible and accessible to the casual observer. So unless people are leaving their guns in plain sight in unlocked cars, attractive nuisance does not apply.

        • More specifically, it is intended to protect those who are otherwise incompetent to make reasonable decisions – minors, the mentally handicapped, etc. – and only requires reasonable restrictions – fences, etc.

          As long as you have a latched gate, you will generally be ok even though the kids know about your pool. If you always left your firearm on the hood of your car, I could see you getting into trouble for an attractive nuisance. Even leaving it on the front seat and unlocked, I doubt would reach that level.

        • I’m trying to remember the oldest case we looked at in a course on laws that affect schools and their facilities. I can’t remember the actual age, but it concerned high school students, which means that in Oregon at least the definition of “children” is pretty broad for this.

          As a handyman when at OSU I got several jobs repairing or removing porches and outside stairs on old houses near the university because of owner concern about attractive nuisance, which indicates a real concern that it could cover university students as well.

          As is true with any such concept, once it is developed lawyers will stretch it as far as they can, the better to bill hours for cases it covers.

  5. Yeah some are…a few years ago I used to talk about gun/rights at my local gym. Several told me they had their guns stolen. All but ONE was a black guy. The lone white guy left his GLOCK in a drawer. His teen son had an unauthorized party. You can guess the rest. Have your shite together…

  6. There are 2 sides to this controversy; and, the important one is the Public-Relations side. The question we all need to ask ourselves is: Are WE doing what WE need to do to WIN the PR fight?

    I do not, for a minute, think that locking-up our guns would have a MATERIAL impact on the supply of guns to the black-market. The sieve has too many holes and it’s not realistic to plug them all; nor even most. When black-powder emerged from the bottle the genie was in the wild never to be returned.

    That said, what are we to make of the facts? Shall we sit back like petulant children and pout: “We aren’t going to; we don’t have to; blah blah blah!”? Is that the best we can do? Or, can we think just a little bit smarter?

    First, what can we do to turn this issue on its head? We can point-out that people usually leave guns in their cars when they are carrying and have to run an errand in a gun-free zone. Among all the other reasons GFZs are a bad idea; just one more is that they make guns more readily available to steal. If the peaceable voters of our polity want fewer guns stolen, how about working on reducing the number of GFZs to the minimum number possible. (Let’s grant that there might be at least one place that needs to remain gun-free. E.g., does it “infringe” on the RTBear Arms to prohibit a lawyer visiting his client in jail to leave his gun outside?)

    Second, we all need to examine our own gun-keeping practices from time to time and decide what we could do better – JUST in the interest of preserving our valuable property. In a car, that probably means installing a good strong box welded or bolted to the frame; a few hundred bucks – for each car. In the home, that probably means installing one good strong box bolted to the floor; or, a really effective hiding place.

    More than anything else, what will have the greatest impact on stolen handguns is: CARRY. Home-carry; if the gun is on your hip it is where you need it. Public-carry; if we didn’t have GFZ, we would not need to leave our guns at home (whether locked-up or hidden) where they are vulnerable. As it is, too many hand-guns are left on night-stands. We don’t home-carry; we leave our guns on the night-stand. We don’t carry publicly; we leave our guns on our night-stands. Eventually, a burglar breaks into a gun-owner’s home and goes straight for the night-stand. If we consistently home-carry and public-carry, our guns wouldn’t be on the nightstand except when we are sleeping next to them.

    By the way, if we don’t leave our guns on our night-stands they wouldn’t be available to children in the home who aren’t mature enough to handle them.

    Third, most of us have more than one hand-gun. One is the EDC/bedside-companion; the others are for recreation. We can either lock-up these additional handguns effectively, hide them, or both. A strong box bolted to the floor will resist an amateur attack and doesn’t cost a whole hell of a lot of money. If you can afford 2 or 12 or 20 handguns you can afford a strong enough box to secure them. An alternative strategy is to hide these extra handguns effectively; a strategy that is likely to be more effective against amateur and skilled burglary.

    Here is where our rhetoric is important. We can choose to tout either:
    – “We aren’t going to; we don’t have to; blah blah blah!”; or,
    – “Here are our community’s best-practices, here are our brochures promoting them, we are doing our part! Now how about some respect from the non-gun-owning public for our efforts?”
    I know that such a choice is too hard for some of us to fathom; but, some us could probably “get it”.

    Finally, locking-up guns can be – at best – only marginally effective. Long-guns require big safes; so large that they generally preclude hiding. Gun safes are either very expensive or not very secure. A prepared burglar will get into a gun safe if he wants to invest the effort. Long guns are not much of a problem; they are vulnerable to becoming stolen property but are rarely used in violent crimes. Best to leave long-guns to the discretion of the property owner to prevent the loss of his own property. Concentrate on handguns that are prone to be used in violent crime.

    When we think about the typical home, it simply can’t be cost-effectively protected from burglary. Some are in remote areas with no one to observe and too far for the police to respond to an alarm on-time. Most have too many doors and windows to be effectively secured. Once the burglar is inside the home he will find whatever valuables are obvious or might be found with a little rifling of drawers and closets. We can reduce the probability of a burglar finding our handguns, but we can’t eliminate theft.

    Accordingly, the battle to protect our handguns from being stolen can NEVER be won. Nevertheless, we need not surrender to the attack by the antis. We CAN hone our rhetoric and give a better response.

    • “Accordingly, the battle to protect our handguns from being stolen can NEVER be won.” Also true of gun ownership in general. There are no reasoned, logic-based arguments effective against emotion. At the bottom of all the notions about showing how much gun owners are doing to prevent theft is the emotional argument that nothing done can eliminate private gun ownership, and guns are just flat dangerous, no one needs one, innocent people eventually get hurt/killed, if you don’t have a gun at all, none of these bad things would happen. Gun owners can never do enough to assure the anti gang that having a gun has any positive benefit. Locking guns up so they cannot be stolen or used is truly a “common sense”, “reasonable” restriction of gun ownership. There is no discussion to be had, here. Only hope is we can convince politicians there are enough pro-gun voters to make their lives miserable.

      • “There are no reasoned, logic-based arguments effective against emotion.”

        Every citizen has the right to lawful self defense. No amount of dead kids, teenagers or adults by a gun can betray that fact of the human condition. To declare otherwise allows criminals to prey on citizen.

        I do agree in making legislators lives miserable.

      • Sam, you are absolutely correct. Our best defense is to constitute a credible threat to the re-election of our Congress-critters. Nothing short of that will suffice.

        So, how do we make ourselves a credible threat? One means is make sure – but subtly – that we won’t give up our guns. Therefore, they have to decide just how far they dare push us.

        Long before they have to make their decisions, we need to decide how we want to form-up into rank and file in the political forum. We can be a rag-tag mob no 3 of whom can agree on anything but that belligerence is our mode of communication. Or, we can hone our arguments so as to improve our lot as best we can.

        We need to keep other voters off-the-backs of our Congress-critters. Bear in mind, there is nothing – NOTHING – we can do about the Antis. They are a fixed part of our environment. The variable part are those voters who are at the margin. They don’t much care about guns one-way-or-the-other.

        We ought to make sure that we tell these voters that we are responsible people who are doing that which can be done; and, that the problem can’t be solved by the solutions proposed by the Antis. We need to give our Congress-critters the scripts – talking points – that they can use to justify their votes.

        You can bet your life that the Antis are giving their Congress-critters the scripts and talking points to use to justify their Anti-gun legislation. Do we want to be caught flat-footed in this rhetorical battle?

        The stolen-gun issue is just one of many to be concerned with. And, a fairly minor issue.

        The MAJOR issue – in my mind – is whether we PotG can get our act together and make an effective political force. God has blessed us with a miracle. We have 4 years to make that miracle work for us. Are we up to the task POLITICALLY? Or, will we waste this opportunity?

        • If blogs are any indication (and there is no proof they are), PoTG are more interested in destroying each other, than working toward a consensus other than “belligerence” (as you aptly noted). Sometimes, it is like seeing the Spanish Inquisition (‘No one expects the Spanish Inquisition !!’) real time.

          The message should not be complex: “remove all gun restrictions, everywhere”; “any attempt to introduce gun regulation will result in refusal to support your election.” I don’t think it is up to us to “prove” we are responsible people.

    • There are 2 sides to this controversy; and, the important one is the Public-Relations side. The question we all need to ask ourselves is: Are WE doing what WE need to do to WIN the PR fight?

      Agreed. We need to do more to make Calexit, exit.

  7. I have a mini-gun safe welded to the baseboard of my Jeep. There is no doubt that a thief with the right tools and time will be able to break into it. If and when that happens, I know that the leftist, tyrannist, anti-2nd Amendment crowd will scream that the gun wasn’t properly secured. We could own a Brinks armored car, and it still wouldn’t be enough for Saul-Alinsky drones. They have an agenda, and they will spin it until their agenda is reached.

    I spent nearly 8 years in Germany working military law enforcement. I learned fairly quickly that criminals will be criminals. We were warned that criminals in Europe will ambush police for the sole purpose of taking their guns, and military cops, that was a bonus for these criminals.

  8. While I wouldn’t say gun owners are too blame, it OK to say “Hey, we need to do a better job at securing our firearms”. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Blaming everyone else when we could be doing better doesn’t get us anywhere.

      • Not just do better; MAKE A BIG DEAL about DOING BETTER!

        Look at what the PotG have done for accidents. The accidental deaths by gun have plummeted for 100 years. The rate per 100,000 residents has dropped even faster with the growth in population. And, it has dropped despite the fact that there are lots more guns in absolute terms and even per-capita terms.

        What could explain such a phenomena? Well, you see, we gun owners desire to preserve our own lives; so, we promote good safety practices. They worked. Not a hard-to-understand concept for a non-gun-owner to grasp.

        But we don’t toot our horn about our success in gun safety. We should do more to do so.

        Likewise for every other issue the Anti’s throw up. In this case, the minor gun-theft issue. What is our rhetoric around this issue? Do we have a narrative? Does it show off our community in a good (or bad) light?

        • What do you have in mind for our rhetoric? My usual response is “Bitch shouldn’t have been wearing that skirt. She was asking for it.” It ends the conversation, but I’m not sure it has any further positive influence.

    • None of it matters. In another 20 years, people will be able to print a steel gun right from their desktop 3d laser sintering printer.

  9. In my mind, this is no different than leaving your phone in your center console and having the windows smashed and the phone stolen.

    If you were allowed to carry said weapon everywhere you could go, you wouldn’t have as many stolen guns from lack of security.

  10. The only thing an in-vehicle gun safe is good for is to comply with Federal law when transporting a firearm through a state that doesn’t recognize your permit.

    If a thief sees an in-vehicle gun safe, the thief will likely steal the entire car and take it somewhere where he can get the safe open in his leisure.

    The best defence against firearms theft from vehicles is to eliminate all gun-free zones. The theif can’t steal it from your car if it’s on your hip.

    • Why would you install a safe that someone can see in the first place? Unless you’re driving a little compact, there are places for your gun safe that no one will see even if they ride in the vehicle.

      • The visible gun in the car is probably a rare instance. It is more likely the car itself. Car is stolen, thief finds gun, does illegal stuff with it.

    • You make a valid point about stealing the whole car. This is one of the possibilities.

      Does this happen? (Hard to tell since we don’t have much experience with relatively hard in-car safes.) Would it happen? Hard to tell. We don’t really know whether guns are stolen by opportunists or by professional car thieves.

      I suspect that professional car thieves are geared-up to go after expensive cars to chop-them-up or export them. These may be little interested in getting a gun. I suspect that guns are mostly stolen by opportunists who will break your window and rifle your car for whatever might be found. These opportunists will invest only a few minutes trying to crack a gun safe.

      I have a small pistol safe for my home (not car) that is pretty rugged. Cost a few hundred dollars. I could install such a safe in each of my cars for an additional $100 or so. I have 3 cars; so, that’s $1,200 to protect myself against the odd chance that I might drive any one of these cars to the Post Office and leave a $300 gun in the car for a few minutes.

      Our best argument, here, is that an adequate safe, adequately installed in each car is an unjustified expense for a gun-owner (and his wife) to incur on 2+ cars just to protect a $300 gun from a 5% (?) chance of being stolen. Granted, none of us wants our property stolen. Gun owners are even more opposed to having their guns stolen than most other property. Even so, there is only so far that society can imagine gun-owners are going to go to protect their guns from being stolen from cars.

      The more practical answer is for society to re-think the wisdom of GFZs. Eliminate GFZs and thefts from cars will become a minor issue. How important is it to find the “right” answer to GFZs? Is it more important or less important than solving the problem of guns stolen from cars? If GFZs are the more important societal issue then let’s concentrate on that issue first.

  11. Background checks are just giving criminals more incentive to steal from you and I. Before the 90s, was the background check free 80s and gun racks in the back window of vehicles was common. Theft was not.

  12. That box reminds me of a box I put in place of the big ashtray in the dash of my old ’74 Nova years ago. Made it out of fiberglass and fastened a leather holster inside to hold my AMT Skipper (Commander size 45 Auto). Worked like champ, but I never got around to the electric latch, just bungee cord that held it both open and closed. No room in a dash in modern cars for something like that, my newest car doesn’t even have an ashtray.

  13. I think most of the areas concerning individual gun owners has been pretty well covered.
    One of the things that truly amazes me is seeing in the news, about once a week or so, a report of a GUN SHOP broken into, with a large number of guns stolen.
    A GUN SHOP.
    Have these people never heard of gun safes? Alarm systems?
    What kind of stupidity does it take to own and operate a gun shop, with guns out in the open when the shop is closed?
    It seems that all it takes in most cases is for the thieves to back a pickup through the front windows, smash & grab a bunch of guns, and leave. Often it takes a passer-by to report the theft; I’ve actually seen reports of the shop people coming to work to discover the theft!
    SMH!
    I fail to see how such a shop owner could ever get insurance to re-open.

    • That’s a good point. I can only think of a couple of gun shops I’ve known that had serious security. One had steel storm bars (like used in Miami for protecting windows in hurricanes) that closed over all the long guns on the walls and steel shutters that closed over the handgun displays. Another had steel shutters like those that cover the fronts of a lot of stores in malls after hours. A third had every gun secured by cables that had to be unlocked to even examine one for purchase. But other than those, yeah, quite a lot of sloppy security — like one on the news just a few days ago where thieves only had to break the glass in the display cases and sweep guns into containers.

    • “What kind of stupidity does it take to own and operate a gun shop, with guns out in the open when the shop is closed?”

      Having worked at a few Pawn & Gun shops over the years, I’ll try to enlighten you on the situation.

      First, every shop I worked at stored handguns in the same safes the shop’s gold jewelry was stored in.

      They reason they sometimes don’t is because handling them twice daily (out of the safe to the display cases, then back in the safe at closing time) tends to ding them up. If a gun sits in the display case for a year, it gets handled several hundred times. That really devalues the expensive ones.

      Then there’s the time factor. Employees cost money. Taking 30 min a day to move them in and out of the safe starts to cost the shop not an insignificant amount of money.

      That’s not an excuse, but it is the explanation of why they stay in the display cases.

      Now, then –

      There *are* things they can do to make it much harder to get into the shop.

      Massive concrete decorative planters outside the front as a barrier to thwart ramming into the shop.

      Replacing window glass with Lexan sheet to thwart a brick shattering them.

      Replacing the door pull hardware with nylon hardware. If they get the truck and chain treatment, the nylon shears right off.

      Mounting the steel security bars on the *inside* of the windows.I am perpetually amazed at the shops mounting them on the outside. One truck, one steel chain, and those bars are torn right off. I see a *lot* of this, but it’s mostly because I notice those shops when out and about, having worked in them. (And I often stop in to see if they have anything priced lower than the actual value, so I can flip it to make a quick buck.)

      Those are the main points, there are others, but you can see what I’m getting at…

      • Update –

        Shops may not be able to secure their business as I describe above, due to terms of their lease.

        If that’s the case, find another building. Or do as the first Pawn & Gun I worked at did, buy the entire building.

        Yeah, they can make that kind of money…

    • There have been som thefts in Denver lately. The MO is this:

      Back a stolen 4WD truck to the bars on the windows. Wrap a chain around the bars, hit the gas, pull half the wall down. 3 guys run in, smash all the pistol cabinets, use bolt cutters and grinders to quickly remove the security cables from 1 or 2 high end long guns, load it all in a stolen van and leave. Total time on target less than 3 minutes, alarm blaring the entire time.. Even an alarm that goes straight to the PD will not be answered in 3 minutes.

      You cannot secure a building when the thieves are willing to completely destroy it to gain entry.

      • Note my comments directly above yours.

        Smart shops mount the bars on the *inside* of shatter-proof Lexan windows.

        You *can* make the crooks have to use serious effort to rip you off…

      • And you can’t secure a shop so long as zoning laws guarantee that no one lives upstairs ready to protect the place.

  14. “If we were able to get people to properly secure their guns, our crime would plummet in St. Louis.”

    I got a laugh out of this one. Somehow, someway, firearms are the source of issues and decisions regarding morality. The firearms absolutely definitely caused that person to commit a crime. I never would have guessed!

  15. Gun Owners Are Making it Too Easy or Criminals to Get Firearms

    It should be easy for people to get firearms. The presence of a firearm, or lack thereof, does not determine the moral aptitude of the individual using a firearm. If people can’t control their impulse to rob convenient stores, shooting cops, or murdering people, the impulse to do so should be addressed, with focus on the underlying reasons, not the method by which they accomplish said reasons.

  16. He’s only right if we continue to refuse to punish this undesirable behavior. Like rape in the middle east, if you allow your culture to accept it, you have no choice but to adapt (through burqas, deadbolts, or gun safes) in order to survive in that brutal way of life. If these guys could expect to be shot, hanged, or incarcerated for a long time for their break ins, they’d either not do them, or no longer be around to become a problem again. Classic liberal dilemma; do we work harder to discourage a small amount of undesirable behavior by uncooperative people, or force accommodation by everyone else who still listens to us since that’s effortless?

  17. The second to last line here is pretty big.

    I don’t know how it works everywhere but in lots of places I know of thieves specifically target cars at GFZs because they know a decent percentage of people will leave a handgun in their car.

    In fact my dad got a laugh out of this. In Santa Fe such behavior was so common it made the police blotter daily. Things didn’t change until this happened to the Chief of Police. When HIS gun went missing suddenly the city council and the cops started caring.

    • “I know of thieves specifically target cars at GFZs because they know a decent percentage of people will leave a handgun in their car.”

      Damn good point. Were I a thief, that’s were I would go.

      The old saying of robbing banks ’cause that’s were the money is…

  18. For the price they want for that thing, it better come with the cool accent lighting they have down inside that is illuminating the handguard on the rifle.

  19. Let me paraphrase man of the above statements

    If I leave my gun on my porch and someone comes up and steals it (since I did not give them permission and its on my property, I in no way made it easy nor hold ANY BLAME in that weapon being taken.

    All I have to say is … LOLOLOLOLOL!

    Knowing there are criminals in the world and knowing that criminals are going to do exactly what they want to do, the law be damned…. I would firmly said that anyone not at least attempting to secure their guns has culpability.
    Either that or you’re just too damned dumb and need to sell your guns now.

    You knowing that criminals are out there and WILL STEAL if given then chance and then acting like it will never happen is just plain naive.

    There are reasons I don’t have stickers of ANY kind on my vehicles. NRA and other progun stickers pretty much say “GUNS may be INSIDE!” and make you a target.

    Its not like criminals have actually stated that those are things that have encouraged them to break into certain cars… oh wait – yeah they did.

    So to the ostriches in this thread, keep pretending that criminals won’t steal…. let us know how that works out for you *SMDH*

    And then pretending that the system is somehow going to miraculously change over night to stop this? Even more naive.

    Meanwhile, you’re just giving anti-gun people more ammunition to shoot at the people of the gun.

    So, how about acting in the hear and now with the way the system works (that think called reality) instead of woulda shoulda coulda (fantasy land)

    • Pray tell, how? How am I supposed to prevent theft with child-proof devices meant to stop non-malicious people just being curious?

      Oh, a real SAFE you say? You’re welcome to deposit your last month’s pay cheque, or two, into my account.

      Or something like this http://www.consolevault.com/Chevrolet-Silverado-1500-Floor-Console-2014_p_95.html#.WENtDWK9KK0? 300 bucks please, thank you very much. And make sure you remind the next burglar not to bring crowbar. Oh snap my car is not compatible. Duh.

      • Sorry, James, but guns aren’t cheap. That one AR probably cost more than a cheap safe that will deter an amateur.
        No, I’m not saying everyone should have a $2000+ safe. What I’m saying is that when you own something that is portable, dangerous, and attractive (sounds like my wife!), it is in your own best interests to secure it.

    • Psyguy, you sir are right on the money.This subject brings out more whining thumb suckers than a UC Berkeley safe space. The notion that you shouldn’t secure your weapons because people shouldn’t steal is as ridiculous as not having an umbrella because you believe you should get rained on. Even more ridiculous is the notion that Ocean’s 11 is prowling mall parking lots breaking into cars, therefore it’s pointless to try to secure your firearm. Car burglaries are performed by opportunistic dickheads with rocks and screwdrivers.

      If someone is unwilling to spend a few bucks to ensure the kid working at the 7-11 doesn’t get shot with the weapon they left unsecured in their vehicle, they’re an asshole.

      • Yea. I think it’s more about you not having freedom to store your firearm in the manner you choose (be it your house or vehicle trunk, or back window of your truck, because of some weird TTAGers think that the victim of theft should be responsible for the future crimes of the perpetrator.

        • “This subject brings out more whining thumb suckers than a UC Berkeley safe space.”; and lo and behold,here you are.

        • If anyone needs a “safe space” it’s people who think the victims of theft should be responsible for the future actions of perpetrators of that theft. It’s you that seeks safety over freedom.

    • How about you give the statists a big hug and embrace more rules for the law abiding to follow and how they should accept responsibility for everyone else’s crimes and then later we’ll discuss about who’s “too damned dumb.”

    • If I leave my gun on my porch and someone comes up and steals it (since I did not give them permission and its on my property, I in no way made it easy nor hold ANY BLAME in that weapon being taken.

      All I have to say is … LOLOLOLOLOL!

      Good – keep laughing. Nobody gives a shit.

      Knowing there are criminals in the world and knowing that criminals are going to do exactly what they want to do, the law be damned…. I would firmly said that anyone not at least attempting to secure their guns has culpability.

      Negative. In my opinion if someone steals ANYTHING from you and then uses it as a weapon, you should not be “culpable.” You should not be held responsible for the future crimes of criminals who stoles something from you and used it as a weapon or as part of a weapon, or a component of a weapon.

      Either that or you’re just too damned dumb and need to sell your guns now.

      I think your concept of what is dumb is relative to your personal position and sometimes what is objectively “dumb” cannot be seen by those who are a victim to it.

      You knowing that criminals are out there and WILL STEAL if given then chance and then acting like it will never happen is just plain naive.

      Oh we know it will happen. Some of us just aren’t worried about it and certainly don’t feel morally responsible for their future activities if a criminal breaks into our locked vehicles or homes and steals something of ours.

      There are reasons I don’t have stickers of ANY kind on my vehicles. NRA and other progun stickers pretty much say “GUNS may be INSIDE!” and make you a target.

      Your statement has some merit. However, some find it more important to exercise their free speech than conceal their ownership of firearms, and they embrace the risk of criminals possibly breaking into their vehicle in search of a firearm.

      So to the ostriches in this thread, keep pretending that criminals won’t steal…. let us know how that works out for you *SMDH*

      We know they will steal and we accept that their future activities as a result of their prior criminal activities of stealing our stuff should not make us “culpable” for their actions.

      Meanwhile, you’re just giving anti-gun people more ammunition to shoot at the people of the gun.

      Logically, they have no ammunition. Kind of like your statements above.

      So, how about acting in the hear and now with the way the system works (that think called reality) instead of woulda shoulda coulda (fantasy land)

      Are you 12? Just asking. No one – should accept responsibility from the future actions of a criminal that stole your stuff. It offsets the accountability of an individual committing a crime and places it on the victim of a crime who had their stuff stolen. Absolute insanity.

  20. Was it the same guy talking shit about open carry?

    What a fucking dickhead. You got a problem, sort it out among ourselves. Don’t bring this to the public like a snitching coward.

    Mansplain to me how to make it “difficult”. With a plastic box in your car? That 1/8 inch cable lock? That 2 dollar trigger lock? With a sheet metal airweight gun “safe” at your house? Or are you gonna pay for that 10k real safe plus shipping and installation?

    Child-proof devices do nothing to deter thieves but to delay your access. We’re not even talking about incremental security here. That safety device is a pure fantasy that anyone been to home depot can defeat. When they see a gun, they’ll take it. And then they have all the time in the world to defeat the “security”.

    And I thought it’s an accepted fact that gun control doesn’t nearly work well enough to reduce crime compared to its opportunity cost? Bearing Arms my ass.

  21. Here, I have an idea: Let’s make it more difficult to steal stuff by allowing the use of lethal force on thieves. The law should be changed such that is someone so much as touches my stuff, I can use lethal force right then and there, no questions asked, no criminal charges can be filed. Further, give me a safe harbor from civil litigation for eliminating thieves.

    There, problem solved. That’s as difficult as it can get for thieves.

    BTW, I would include the legalization of trap guns in this. Break down my front door, get a 12ga to the chest, even if I’m not home.. It can’t get too much harder to steal my stuff than that, right? What else am I going to do, put in claymores at the top & bottom of stairwells, with a trip wire on the top & bottom steps?

    Oh, I can hear it now. The pecksniffs, telling me that they don’t appreciate my use of reductio ad absurdum, right?

    Oh, what’s that? Owens was talking of only passive means of protection? OK, so where do we stop? Who gets to define “too easy?”

    So let’s follow this through the natural progression of the hoplophobes’ thought process.

    You bought a gun safe, but you didn’t secure it to a concrete floor (because you lived in an upper story apartment) and the thieves were able to get the safe on its back and pry the door open. They got all your handguns and your AR. It took them less than 10 minutes. You made it “too easy” for the thieves.

    You bought a gun safe, but you didn’t buy one that had a thick enough wall thickness. They used a fire axe (or a angle grinder with a cutoff wheel) to gain access through the side. This time, it took only about 15 minutes and a little more noise. Ergo, you “made it too easy for the thieves.”

    OK, you bought a B&F rated safe with 1/4″ sidewalls, but you forgot to lock up your oxy-acetelene torch and tank regulators from your garage into the safe, and the thieves used your torch to cut through the 1/2″ thick sidewalls of your safe. 10 minutes and once again, we’re nice and quiet. You “made it too easy for the thieves.” Oh, and as an added bonus, when the thieves left, your house became involved and it sustained serious damage before the FD arrived.

    So now, thanks to the increasingly absurd regulatory restrictions on gun owners so that they can still keep their guns at their home instead of at the police station, you decide to really make it hard for the thieves. You build a concrete&rebar vault in your basement, with 8″ of six-sack concrete with two layers of rebar. Your vault has a with a door made of 1.5″ thick steel plate, with a 1/4″ layer of AR500 on the outside and a 1/4″ layer of 300-series stainless sandwiched in the middle of the steel stack to defeat drilling and oxy-acetylene attacks.

    Alas, you’re now you’re dealing with the A-team of thieves, and you didn’t make it thick enough to defeat a burning bar, a 1″ diameter EMT tube filled with magnesium rods and stoked with O2. It will burn through inches (NB the plural) of steel, and inches of poured concrete, in mere minutes. Noisy, hot as the Devil’s own breath, but it absolutely works. I’ve used these burning bars when demo’ing old mining equipment. I can punch a hole clean through 5″ of steel in about 90 seconds. They cost like, oh, $100 each. The problem isn’t getting through the steel – it’s putting out the fire once you’re through that is the problem. So the thieves are standing by with a bottle of CO2 ready to dump into your vault once they’re through the door. No problem.

    See, this is where this varsity-level stupidity leads, and blaming law-abiding property owners (regardless of the property being stolen) for the actions of thieves is varsity-level stupid. Sooner or later, thieves will get into a safely-stored gun and obtain the gun. The gun-banners, howling in fury, will trot out the “even if it saves only one life” canard will ask for absurd increases in security because they will blame the lawful gun owners for the actions of felons.

    Bob Owens’ thought process here is intellectually bankrupt, and is doing nothing but providing ammunition (pardon the pun) for the gun banners.

    • ” and a 1/4″ layer of 300-series stainless sandwiched in the middle of the steel stack to defeat drilling and oxy-acetylene attacks.”

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for those tips. Printed and in a folder…

      (And I’ve heard a thermal lance will do a nice number on someone’s vehicle engine. Just set it on the hood. “Light fuze, get away.”)

      • Near our vacation home thermal lances have been successfully used to cut holes in foot-thick steel vault walls, robbing from the government in Málaga, Spain, the entire proceeds of a year’s worth of government drug busts. The underworld was suitably impressed. Hell, I was suitably impressed.

    • “Here, I have an idea: Let’s make it more difficult to steal stuff by allowing the use of lethal force on thieves”

      DG, about 20 years back I was thumbing through a pawn industry magazine that had an interesting article for sale in the back of the magazine.

      It looked like a good sized vertical air compressor tank.

      It was a giant pressurized tank of pepper spray, to fog the entire inside of the building it was protecting.

      It was wired so the alarm system triggered it…

      *snicker*

      (And how do you drill stainless? I’ve ruined many drill bits trying. Some of them expensive. High speed low pressure? Low speed heavy pressure? With – without cutting fluid?)

      • You drill stainless with higher feed, lower speeds. Don’t allow it to work harden.

        Flood coolant or cutting lube helps, but isn’t wholly necessary. The thing is, stainless will work harden under your cutting tool. Your tool needs to be sharp and have the correct relief angles ground on it. Most people’s drill bits aren’t sharp, and they don’t know how to sharpen them. Most people use too high a RPM on their drill bits, and this compromises the hardness of the HSS.

        Drilling larger holes in 300-series stainless might require a carbide inserted spade drill with the correct insert. 300-series stainless needs a different rake angle on the cutting edge than steel or 400-series stainless.

  22. I’ve had guns stolen out of my vehicle. It’s my fault I was raised on 40 acres and never locked anything I just forgot to get my gun out. I think it’s not gun owners fault it’s the sorry worthless pieces of feces who steal. Why can’t cops instead of enforcing every new gun law and drug law and speeding law nd stuff that doesn’t do anything to keep none safe but instead is just an extra tax why won’t they actually stop criminals people who rob steal murder hurt other people? If every aft dea wtf agent was actually doing something useful then I’d be so happy but guess what guys no money is made from getting back stolen property solving robberies but a lot is made from busting a drug dealer with 10 grand.

  23. If you think the victim is responsible for the theft because they didn’t secure it “enough.” – You are probably a thief.

  24. I’m doing my part. Every new car we buy, I always make sure that I provide feedback on the new owner survey. I always recommend that they should turn the glove box or center console into a real car safe, where people can store their firearm when visiting victim disarmament zones.

    So far, no results to report.

  25. I don’t want to blame the victims, but for the love of god don’t leave valuables like wallets / purses, electronics or firearms in your vehicle let alone in plain sight. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    • Isn’t it quite a difference between POTG advising each other to be prudent with valuable items, and never-ending government mandates directing just how a private citizen must do so?

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