Report: 70k Guns Lost or Stolen in California in the Last Five Years


After passing a fresh batch of laws restricting residents’ right to keep and bear arms, California is ground zero for American gun control. When these new measures are added to existing infringements on Californians’ firearms freedom, it’s clear that CA gun owners are sliding down the slippery slope to complete civilian disarmament.

Which is why it’s impossible to read‘s article Investigation: 70,000 Guns Lost or Stolen in California, Many Used in Later Crimes without seeing it as a prelude to greater infringement. The article connects the dots between lost and stolen guns and “gun violence,” complete with lurid examples of same. Like this . . .

A six-month investigation found nearly 70,000 guns were lost or stolen in California over the last half-decade and many of those same guns were later used to commit other crimes. That’s about 34 guns every day that are stolen from legal gun owners. Some were later used to kill innocent people across the state.

People like Olga Dinelli, 84, who was tied up and shot once in the head in her Sonoma County home last year. Police seized multiple stolen guns from her suspected killers.

And just one day before Dinelli was killed, 13-year-old Rashawn Harris was murdered in his driveway with a gun stolen from Stockton mayor Anthony Silva’s home.

And that’s just the opening.

The numbers of guns lost or stolen in the study’s five-year period aren’t all that surprising. Despite the Democratically-controlled state’s anti-gun jihad, California is still home to tens of millions of gun owners. A 2015 study estimated that some 20 percent of California residents own firearms.

Assuming that the percentage of gun owners has remained the same, given the state’s current population of roughly 40m, there are currently some 9.6m Californian gun owners.

Seventy-thousand lost or stolen guns in five years equals 14k guns per year. I suck at math, but I reckon that around .0015 percent of California’s gun owning population lose or have their gun stolen in an average year. An epidemic this is not. A piece of information NBC somehow missed.

. . . just outside the Bay area, stolen guns have helped fuel an epidemic of violence in Stockton.

According to police data compiled by the NBC stations, stolen guns have been seized in connection to more than 400 crimes in Stockton since 2010, including at least 12 homicides.

I know: if a mandatory safe storage law (such as the one in place in San Francisco requiring firearms to be unloaded and disarmed when stored) saves just one life, it’s worth it! [/sarc] And if random home inspections are required to enforce that law, and just one visit saves just one life, it’s worth it! [/sarc].

Which leads to a simple end point: if banning civilian firearms ownership saves just one life, it’s worth it! Never mind all the lives saved and property protected by civilian firearms ownership. As far California statists are concerned, an once of prevention is worth any amount of cure.


  1. avatar Removed_californian says:

    1) how many of those 70k “stolen” guns were used in crimes
    2) how many of those 70k “stolen” guns were actually stolen and not sold through a straw purchase
    3) how many of those 70k “stolen” guns are actually stolen and not just reported as such to keep the gov from knocking on your door.

    70k is an awfully high number imo. Methinks otherwise.

    1. avatar Greg says:

      How did TTAG get the 3 Democrats to pose for the photo with their pieces?

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Easy, they are wearing masks to conceal their real identities.

        1. avatar Von Schmitto says:

          Don’t Democrats always try to conceal their real identities?

          “We are not coming to take your guns”

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Of the 70k stolen guns 100% were used in a crime, since it is a crime to steal a gun.

      1. avatar DaveL says:

        Reminds me of some ATF official remarking earlier this year about how quickly guns, once stolen, end up in the hands of criminals.

  2. avatar anarchyst says:

    I wonder how many were “law enforcement” guns, left in bathroom stalls and other public places.

    1. avatar gs650g says:

      At least one was used on Kate stmly

  3. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    If you think 70,000 guns disappearing in 5 years is bad, just wait until those “stolen” AR-15s disappear in 2017!

    Gonna be a whole lot of “boating accidents” in Calfornia in the next 16 months. That’s my prediction. ?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Simple fix – they’ll just pass a law making it illegal to carry firearms in a watercraft.


  4. avatar somethingclever says:

    Is that a Pre-B CZ75? Unbelievable.

    1. avatar Insertjjs says:

      He is obviously a under cover cop. how else can you explain actual trigger discipline?

    2. avatar Clay-in-UT says:

      Pisses me off to see these thugs (yes I said it) with guns that I would love to be able to afford on the regular market. But, they will either dump it, or turn it in for a $100 gift card, after doing a drive by with it, and it will be destroyed. Stoopid laws!

    3. avatar Guyerson says:

      The one on the right? Looks like a hi power in condition zero with poor trigger discipline.

      1. avatar somethingclever says:

        You could be right. The Pre-B CZ75 and Hi Power look a lot alike, even if they have major internal differences. But the ejection port and just before the trigger guard look more 75ish to me.

    4. avatar anonymoose says:

      Looks like it, but in reality it’s probably a Turkish clone of some sort.

  5. avatar Greg says:

    Using the ‘if it only saves one life’ argument as the golden standard for decision making, the following things should be banned in California:.:
    Motor vehicles, aircraft, boats, bicycles, electricity, swimming pools, bathtubs, all sharp edged instruments including knives, hammers, baseball bats, football games, surfing, sunbathing, rock climbing, zoos, bridges, liberal politicians and abortions. Ah, hell, let’s make it illegal for anyone in California to get out of their bed. Oh wait…we need to ban beds too because people die in their sleep…in their bed.

  6. Lost no, stolen maybe, sold yes, kept by police yes.

  7. avatar Ing says:

    So it’s okay to blame the victim for the crime of being robbed? I wonder when they’re going to get around to blaming women for providing sex to rapists.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      Once the caliphate enacts sharia law.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        It’s cool; she deserved it. The 7th century, mass murdering, child raping, false prophet says so.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “California is still home to tens of millions of gun owners. A 2015 study estimated that some 20 percent of California residents own firearms.”

    If the population is 40 million, then 20% of 40 million is 8 million, not 9.6 million and certainly not “tens of millions”.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      s he says, he sucks at math.

  9. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “I suck at math, but I reckon that around .0015 percent of California’s gun owning population lose or have their gun stolen in an average year.”

    14k guns per year, with 8 million firearm owners, is 0.175 percent.

    (Mr. Farago forgot to multiply 0.0015 times 100 to convert the fraction into a percentage. And my number is slightly different because I am assuming that 8 million people own firearms whereas Mr. Farago was using the 9.6 million number.)

    At any rate I agree that 0.175 percent of firearm owners — that’s one in every 571 owners — losing firearms (misplaced or stolen) is not an epidemic.

  10. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Kudos to the guy in the middle for good trigger discipline, but they might want to learn how to load and insert the magazines.

    1. avatar The Other Gray Man says:

      You wanna be the guy that bets there’s not one in the chamber?

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        But if there’s one in the chamber they’ll look pretty sill when they rack the slide for Hollywood effect and their only bullet plops out onto the ground.

  11. avatar Troubled Soul says:

    Hey remember this.
    DHS lost 179 gun between 2006 – 2008.
    Compliments of TTAGs article.
    The FBI. 160 between 2002 – 2006.
    Maybe they need to worry about their own house.

  12. avatar Big Daddy says:

    I wonder this, what would happen if the legal system takes all the violent 3 strike felons off the street? Would that reduce crime? Would that eliminate this so-called gun violence which happens mostly in crime ridden areas by criminals with long rap sheets?

    1. avatar gs650g says:

      They start executing the worst offenders and murders at Texas rates maybe they could get a hand on the problem

    2. avatar PsyGuy says:

      I like the way you think 🙂

      In Cali, if you have a stolen gun (under a certain value($1000?)) in your possession and caught, its now a misdemeanor.

      However, I think more needs to be done when these criminals are caught with stolen guns. Tack on 20 years minimum for the possession alone and thrown other charges on top of it.

  13. avatar Jim says:

    We can only hope those 8 million gun owners show up and vote in November. Vote guns.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      they probably will, since it is a presidential election, but at least half of them are FUDDs who will be voting in favor of Newsome’s new ammo control licensing scheme. You can see this in action every time there is a call for a preotest in the capitol (or anywhere else) when only 500 people show up.

  14. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    My question is how many gun crime committing felons have a previous record they should have been disqualified for, and how many of them are charged as such. Not only that but how many of them should be in prison at the time they commit their felonies but were released early for various revolving door justice system policies.

  15. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Imagined conversation with cop come to take report later this year:

    “I don’t know how they did it, officer, you can see where they stripped the bolts right out of the wall when they took that safe. The dang safe the state made me buy a few years back. That thing must have weighed over five hundred pounds with all the stuff in it. Too bad it wasn’t insured as I figured why insure something they are just gonna confiscate in another two or three years. Hell, I bet it won’t be long till they start making cops lock their gun up at the station before they go home.”

    1. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

      Ummmm. In San Francisco they do. You can’t carry when off duty there. Not only that but it is highly illegal for citizens to own hollow point ammo. Only bad guys have guns in Frisco….

  16. avatar stevor says:

    and how many did eric holder GIVE to the mexican drug lords?

  17. avatar Big B says:

    What’s interesting is the story that’s linked to the picture, albeit almost two years old. Cali idiots voted to decriminalize property theft when the value is less than $950. Steal a gun, can’t go to jail. WTF!

  18. avatar Chris says:

    Let’s talk about more gun control measures AFTER you track down those 70k missing guns from california, and the missing guns from the other 49. Until then this is just another argument against more laws to disarm the populace, and a good argument for modern sporting rifle ownership.

  19. avatar FedUp says:

    How many stolen guns came from the parked cars of law enforcers?

    1. avatar NorincoJay says:

      That’s a good question. I hear about it locally on occasion. I can’t believe some people lock guns in their vehicles over night! But they do for whatever stupid lazy reason.

      A few months ago down here in Floria several “teens” we’re breaking into vehicles at night and a few guns were stolen and later recovered thankfully. The worst part some of the vehicles may not have even been locked. I’m not sure if they were the same vehicles that the guns were stolen from. But what people park their cars outside at night and don’t lock the fricken doors!

  20. avatar Caroline Vidal says:

    With the continuing drought and the sorry state of California’s lakes and reservoirs, I suspect many of these firearms will shortly be visible. 😉

  21. avatar doesky2 says:

    Three Obama sons taking other peoples money by force just like the old man.

  22. avatar NorincoJay says:

    I’m against mandatory anything, but we guns owners can do better about locking up firearms when we are not around. I have two safes. A cheap steal gun cabinet with ammo and mags and a 500lbs fire safe with guns. If you can afford a gun you can afford a secure device for storage. I’m sure everyone on TTAG has a similar setup. I would feel absolutely horrible if a firearm I owned was stolen and used in a crime. So I make sure it isn’t easy to do.

    1. avatar Ad Astra says:

      Sure single parent trying to keep the bills payed always has a couple grand lying around for something right? Not like the kids might need college money or dental work right? Go crack open another bottle of FUDD for yourself.

    2. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      “..but we guns owners can do better about locking up firearms when we are not around.”

      If we just did this one thing then this other thing that is bad wouldn’t happen. Usually includes immediately before a disclaimer of not wanting thing to be mandatory but….

      You are awfully close to victim blaming.

    3. avatar NWGlocker says:

      Point taken though: keep your firearms secured. Sucks to have your legally owned stuff taken away. By anyone.

  23. avatar PeterW says:

    Tell me about 70,000 stolen guns and I’ll tell you about 70,000 examples of why gun control laws do not deter crime.

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