3 times more guns being stolen from cars than in previous decade: Research

Three times more guns are being stolen from cars than a decade ago, according to a new report from gun violence prevention advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

The report, released Thursday, found that the rate of such theft tripled in the last decade in cities that report crime data to the FBI. According to the report, the rate went up from an estimated 21.0 thefts per 100,000 people in 2013 to 63.1 per 100,000 people in 2022.

“Guns stolen from cars often go from legal hands to the illegal market, where they are too often used to carry out other crimes, including assaults and homicides. But these thefts are preventable, as is the heartbreak and long-lasting trauma of the violence they can cause,” Sarah Burd-Sharps, senior director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a press release. “Gun owners must securely store their guns — whether in the car or in the home — to save lives.”

The report also found that in 2022 the gun-theft rate from cars was 18 times higher in cities located in states Everytown considers to have “the weakest gun safety laws” than in states it considers to have the “strongest laws.”

“In many of these cities, high rates of gun ownership and laws that make it easier to carry guns in public create conditions under which gun thefts from cars may be more likely,” the report reads.

Gun-related deaths hit record highs in the U.S. in recent years. Gun ownership has also spiked, with Americans purchasing almost 60 million guns between 2020 and 2022.

The Biden administration has sought to curb gun violence and better regulate gun sales. Last month, the Justice Department announced it had submitted a final rule to the federal register aiming to close what is known as the “gun-show loophole.” The rule alters the definition of firearm sellers who are “engaged in business” and would result in those having to get a federal firearms license to include people selling guns at gun shows, flea markets and over the internet.

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