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Reading Where criminals get their guns at doesn’t yield much in the way of new information. In the main, criminals get their guns from theft and straw purchases (someone with a clean record buys a gun on their behalf). Not gun shows. Not internet sales. The majority of the guns used in crimes are stolen. And here’s the thing: an increasing number of firearms are being stolen from cars . . .

For years, police considered residential burglaries as the main route for criminals to get their hands on firearms.

That appears to be changing.

According to some preliminary statistics, APD reported 423 auto burglaries in which firearms were stolen in a recent 12-month period. In a nine-month period last year, there were 256 residential burglaries in which firearms were stolen.

Police also say, however, that more guns might be taken from a single residential burglary than an auto burglary.

But auto burglaries in Albuquerque have jumped from about 6,000 a year in 2013 to more than 8,000 last year.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that the Land of Enchantment issued 343k concealed carry permits in 2013, nearly 60k more than 2012. So . . . more guns in cars, more incentive to break into cars. Ah, but why would New Mexicans leave a gun in their car?

While a certain number stash a gat in their whip to keep a “glovebox gun” at the ready, I reckon most do so because they have to. Law-abiding folks that they are, before they enter a “gun free zone,” they lock their handgun in the glovebox.

What’s the bet that car break-ins are clustering around the parking lots of “gun free” zones, such as NM’s Albertsons supermarkets, which caved to pressure from civilian disarmament proponents (e.g., Moms Demand Action for Guns Sense in America) and banned guns from their stores.

The law of unintended consequences. It’s a thing. Especially when it comes to gun control.

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  1. In other news, the annual number of gun fights in parking lots outside gun free zones has gone down in recent years.

  2. with the anatolian chihuahua chained to the steering wheel, my van’s contents are safe from thieves and lincoln towing. but i repeat myself.

    • I’ve seen Anatolian shepherds. I’ve seen Chihuahuas. I don’t even want to think how that would work. O_o

      • Artificial insemination would work. Just make sure the Anatolian is the female. Otherwise, the puppies would be bigger than the dog!

    • Maybe the ironic song is self-aware. Like, It’s ironic that the song is just about stupid bad luck and there’s nothing really ironic in it.

    • It’s not ironic. And it’s not an “unintended consequence”. It’s just another step towards complete civilian disarmament. “Oh, but people aren’t responsible enough to properly store their guns! Look, they just LET thieves break into their cars to take guns! Whtat we need is MORE gun control, regulating how you can lock up your gun. You know. For the children.”

  3. Or one could look at the rampant increase of illegals into NM and the corresponding escalation in both property and violent crime rates and say “more guns are being stolen from cars because we cant keep illegals out of our country.”

    • Hey, its how they operated in their country no reason why they should stop. America IS the land of opportunity.

      Think of the money tax payers shell out for illegals. 35% of federal prisons have illegals. Higher percentage for state & local jails. Cost of law enforcement, border patrol, welfare, medical (hospital emergency rooms are packed with them). 30% of your health care cost supports illegals. Some school districts are 20-30% illegals, Feds (taxpayers) pay 5400 per student per year for attendance, which payment rules say a student only needs to be preset 1 hour per day. Show up in morning, rob cars in the afternoon. The feds (taxpayers) even pay employers money to hire illegals. Food stamps, phones, housing…all for the single purpose of keeping democrats and cheap labor for RINO’s.

      Caught in the middle are the 53% who pay taxes, are infringe on the right of lawful self protection, are refuse national reciprocity, required to coach their foreign replacement or loose their last paycheck.

      Government services supporting illegals represents cash flow for local, state and federal coffers. When does it end?

      • Add – overcroweded roads/highways; water shortage, overloaded sewer system, large % of the negative trade (Walmart) balance with the chicoms.

      • I’m not pissed at the illegals that are taking money from the government. I’m pissed at the government, and the idiot voters who gave them the authority, that are the ones actually reaching into my pocket to take my money. Look at who the real opponent is here, and it ain’t Paco picking lettuce. Don’t like illegals getting welfare? Either do I. That’s why we should get rid of welfare and all of the other entitlement programs.

    • More delusional bigotry from Mack Bolan. At least he is consistent. According to the US Census Bureau and the Migration Policy Institute, illegal immigration has increased by a whopping 1.3% over the last 2 decades. Hardly “rampant”.

      • Not to mention correlation does not equal causation. If he could kindly cite the sources that state the increase in crime is directly related to illegal immigrants. That would be great, because currently as it stands, the data shows illegals to actually be MORE law abiding than first or second generation immigrant offspring.

      • I love the government satistics on illegals. they say they have no idea how many are in the country but yet can say it only effects 1.3 percent of welfare or any other entitlement. if people had a clue. I live in an area with a lot of tree farms and the government agencys say there are less then a hundred illegals in our county but yet if drive around there a crews of 10 or more n each tree farm. so the numbers and statistics have to be made up. its sad that so many people are so blind by the government lies.

  4. Smash and grab out of the glove box or under the driver’s seat in parking lots outside of “gun free zones”. Nothing new, easiest place to find a gun, criminals have known this forever. A pro-gun sticker on the vehicle cuts their search time down significantly. A gun free zone sign may as well say “free guns” to a criminal (and free victims to a psychopath). I’ve always wanted to use this to argue against gun free zones, but had be hesitant to publicize this fact more than it already is.

    • This very thing happened to me, within a month after moving to a state that outlawed guns in restaurants that served alcohol. And you can bet I “publicized it” when I testified for the bill removing that idiotic restriction. And we got it.

  5. A glove box is a really stupid place to leave a gun. “Locked” is not much help, since those locks can be broken so easily. If you really have to go into a GFZ, it would seem wise to secure a lockbox in the trunk, and use it.

    Personally, I’m not entering any GFZ.

    • Here in Albuquerque we don’t have much of a choice since so many common areas out here are “gun free zones”. My work alone makes it so I can’t carry my heater most of the time unless I’m off property. Schools, courts houses, fire departments, any place that’s serves liquor. We can choose to ignore the gun free signs but if you caught it’s a 4th degree felony which isn’t worth the risk if you have a family to provide for.

  6. “The law of unintended consequences. It’s a thing.”

    Indeed, and it’s simple logic.

    Imagine what we could do with a society based on a common sense, good government.

    Imagine the increase in personal liberty, freedom, money, safety for the citizens of such a place.

    Just look at your tax returns and think back a decade or two and imagine that pile of money sitting in front of you. Taken from you by the state and wasted on corruption, graft, failed social programs, theft, you name it.

    They are quite literally stealing our money – our productivity, and using it to do all the things that our founders feared.

    How do we get this good government back? We need some serious common sense politician control.

  7. A mini-gun safe bolted to the floor under the seat cost me a few hundred dollars including installation. Avoiding “gun free zones” altogether — priceless.

  8. While I do not enter buildings where the penalty is more than being asked to leave, I am finding fewer and fewer no guns signs here MN. They are even vanishing from hospitals and such. I also find that even buildings that still do have them, usually have a door that is not marked. My credit union moved their sign so close to the floor that it does not meet the criteria for legal notification – I do not imagine this was by accident but rather just a way to keep the ignorant antis happy.

  9. If I MUST leave my gun behind, I disable it. Removing the spring and the barrel will make it useless to a thief.

    • This is one reason why I liked having the lock on my smith & Wesson 642, though removing main components is a good idea as well.

    • That renders is inoperable in the short term. However, replacement parts can be bought. The only way to keep a gun out of criminal hands is to prevent its theft in the first place. I can think of only three ways to accomplish this. On your body, well concealed so that you aren’t a target just to get your gun. In a strong, heavy safe bolted to the building. Well hidden in a very unlikely place that would take hours of searching to find.

      • True. However, criminals typically aren’t very smart and are work-averse (hence why they steal instead of working for a living). They would have to know the exact model of gun in order to order the correct parts. That may take more research than what they have patience for.

        Note to self: scratch off all identifying markings that are NOT the serial numbers.

  10. My cousin lost a Glock 19 this way. Locked in his car while he was at his workplace. Someone knew exactly where to go, punched the lock and was gone.

    Remember operational security. Don’t talk about your concealed carry.

    • Better yet, don’t leave a handgun in a car.

      If you decide that you absolutely cannot carry a firearm into the building that you are entering, then carry a semi-auto pistol and leave ONLY the barrel in the car … and take the frame, recoil spring, and magazine into the building with you. The barrel alone is worthless to a criminal.

      Bonus: barrels of semi-auto pistols are tiny, you can stash them almost anywhere in your car, and no thief would ever find it in a “smash and grab” event.

      If you are entering a building with a metal detector, then maybe leave the magazine, recoil spring, and barrel in the car and take the frame in with you? While the frame may still set-off a metal detector, it is not a firearm … and definitely not functional without the barrel, recoil spring, and magazine.

      • I’m not sure this is the best idea. If the frame is the reciever then technically it is very definitely a gun, non-functional, but still a gun. And the metal detectors will find it.

        Security in the building may not like that at all.

  11. NM is weird when it comes to guns. I was really surprised when we stopped at what I remember to be a Hampton Inn just north of Santa Fe on US 285, and it had a No Guns sign on it. I pointed that out when I downgraded the hotel on Expedia. I sure won’t be staying there anytime soon, and suggest to all here that they check before they stay anywhere in NM. The neighborhood was so-so, right next to another Hilton property and then a casino. But I would definitely want to be armed outside of those properties, where the neighborhood seemed quite sketchy. The weird thing is that you would think that being stuck between AZ and TX, that the state would be fairly generous when it comes to gun rights. It doesn’t appear that way.

    Another thing – some of this was from the paper in Las Cruces. We stopped there at Wal-Mart on our way from Tucson to Denver (there is a short cut that bypasses it). Heavily Hispanic, very poor (along with most of NM), and very close to Mexico on a N/S Interstate (I-25). There is a permanent immigration checkpoint maybe a dozen or so miles north of the city (they just waive you through if you tell them where you were born with American accents).

  12. Maybe one of those annoying yellow diamond shaped car window signs that says “This car is a GUN FREE ZONE” would help, just stick it up when you leave the car. I know it’s lying, but lying to a criminal? Who cares? OTOH might invite a car jacking…oh well…

    Seriously, sounds like a safe in the car is the best bet.

  13. The thesis and headline are pure conjecture. Where’s the data that shows thieves target cars parked outside of GFZs, or else that the plurality of stolen guns come from GFZs? TTAG, you can do better.

  14. Even though I am a proud member of the in NRA and Texas State Rifle Association, you won’t find their logos on bumper stickers or decals on my cars. There is no need to advertise that there might be a firearms in the vehicle.

    • Agree. I do not put stickers on my car advertising any political position or ownership of any object.

  15. If I leave my gun somewhere it’s in a safe that someone can’t pick up and go off with. Otherwise it’s on my person.

    In the home? It’s in a safe that can’t be easily moved or knocked over.

    In the car? It’s in a safe bolted underneath the driver’s seat. Gotta love Jeeps, they make so much stuff for them.

    I’ve known too many people that have had their cars broken into (thankfully no guns stolen). I had someone try to bust open my dinky center console last year. I’m not going to have it on my conscience that a criminal is now in possession of a deadly weapon because of me, at least not for my lack of trying.

    Near as I figure your firearms safety should extend to ensuring it doesn’t get into hands it shouldn’t be in.

  16. Agreed. Criminals read these signs as “All law abiding patrons of this establishment have been disarmed for your convenience. You may find a free gun in one or more of the parked cars, no background check required.”

    Again, if you carry concealed, and there are no metal detectors or nude body scanners, no one will know unless you have to use it! It absolutely mystifies me that anyone would rather die or get raped than get expelled from college or fired from their job. The gun can save your life. College and work are just means to an end.

    Dr Silverman in PA did exactly that, and saved his life and countless others, by defying hospital policy and carrying a Seecamp LWS 32 in his pocket. While 32ACP is a tiny cartridge, and shot placement sucks with such a tiny pistol, he injured the shooter badly enough for two other people to tackle him. He suffered a minor graze wound, while the shooter was in critical condition. What’s more, he was congratulated by the police chief for his bravery, and he even kept his job.

    In contrast, after the Virginia Tech shooting, the dead students were all posthumously awarded their degrees. What good are their degrees to them if they’re dead???

    It doesn’t make you a bad person. It just means you’re not suicidal, and that you’re not as stupid as the people who ordered the signs.

  17. My local gun store owner likes to say that guns with a magazine disconnect give you the advantage of being able to leave a firearm in your car if you have to enter a gun free zone with little worry that if it’s stolen it could be used soon after. Like if you have a Ruger LC9s or Beretta 84 or a S&W 3913.

  18. I guess just find an unattended car with a NRA sticker or similar and beat it until candy comes out 🙁

  19. ATTN TTAG Management:

    A vehicle safe shootout would make a very nice gear review article…

  20. My vehicles don’t have NRA stickers, my stickers say ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ. Yes, it’s an invitation, but anyone who “gets it” isn’t the problem.

  21. I have a lock box in the car secured to the driver’s seat anchors with a cable. When I have to enter a “gun free” establishment I lock the gun there. It’s not 100% proof against a determined thief with a bolt cutter, but it does stop a smash and grab theft.

  22. Anyone who leaves a loaded firearm in a car in my opinion is stupid the safest place for your weapon is on your hip if your gun is stolen out of the car you should be charged as well as a thief if you cannot carry your gun to your destination then it should be home in your gun safe

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