MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Gun thefts from cars is a major problem in Memphis.
The Bluff City ranks number one in the country for guns stolen out of cars, according to data released by Everytown Research and Policy.
Chattanooga comes in a close second.
Columbia, SC, and North Charleston, SC, hold the third and fourth spots.
Memphis Police have long asked gun owners to secure their weapons by not leaving them in vehicles.
More stolen guns mean more weapons on the street, which could lead to increased violence.
Certified gun instructor Bennie Cobb told FOX13 the guns stolen out of cars are usually sold on the street for cheap.
“You get a gun out of the car, the only risk you are taking is you breaking into the vehicle,” he said. “You go sell it for one, two hundred dollars you’ve increased your resource for that day.”
According to Everytown, gun thefts from cars has increased dramatically in the last decade.
The biggest increase happened at the start of the COVID pandemic, when gun sales and spiked.
Crime also rose during the pandemic.
In April, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reported over a dozen guns stolen from cars after a string of break-ins.
Tennessee law requires gun owners to keep guns out of sight, locked in the trunk or glove box when someone is not in the car.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis’s gun was even stolen out of her car while she was shopping in Cordova.
The weapon was inside a handgun lockbox at the time of the break-in, police said.
Davis later released a statement that read, in part:
This was an unfortunate incident and a reminder of the public safety challenges we face as a community. This will only strengthen my resolve to get stolen guns off our streets and bring those perpetrators to justice.”
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