What should you do if your gun is stolen? This is a question that responsible firearms owners ask, as well as those who are anti-gun or neutral but curious on the issue of guns.
By the very nature of its theft, a stolen firearm is now in the wrong hands — it’s in the hands of the criminal element. The thief may not have any immediate malicious intent with your gun. He may just want to sell or pawn it. But regardless, the owner of the stolen firearm does have some culpability.
First think about how you store and secure your firearms, so that on the day your firearm is stolen, you can have confidence and integrity when you contact the authorities to tell them what happened. Show them the reasonable precautions you took and the responsibility you took regarding your firearms ownership. At the end of the day, sometimes the bad guys win even if you have taken all precautions — they may break into your home and steal the entire safe or lockbox you keep your firearms in.
Record of Your Firearms
In addition to storage precautions, it’s important to keep an accurate record of the firearms you own. Take pictures of all your firearms showing the serial numbers, or take multiple pictures from different angles and include a close-up of each serial number.
Other possibilities are a written list that you keep in a safe-deposit box or an email list that is stored to the cloud so you will not lose the list if your computer is stolen as well as your firearms. Good records will definitely help law enforcement track the activity of the criminal element if your stolen firearm does turn up somewhere, and it may result in your firearm eventually being returned to you.
Someone stole a Dan Wesson revolver from my checked baggage in 1995. At that time, firearms had to be in their own container, locked, with a conspicuous “Firearm” tag on the outside. This was perfect for thieves to easily identify which bag to take. I received compensation from the airline, and a phone call from the RDU airport police annually asking if I have located the firearm. The police officer is the same one each year, and we have a chuckle that she has to ask every year. And then we wish each other a happy 4th of July!
Just received my annual phone call from the RDU airport police! No news…surprise!
Contact your insurance agency who covers your firearms as well. Homeowner’s insurance may cover but the NRA and USCCA has firearm coverage as well.