Being a gun owner means being responsible and doing everything possible to avoid letting your weapons fall in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, your efforts may not be enough, and gun theft is quite common. Once your gun or guns are stolen, they can be used in crimes or sold off the grid. It is critical to report the theft immediately should your firearm become missing or confirmed stolen. With this in mind, we at Shooting Range Industries would like to list the steps for reporting a missing or stolen firearm.
How to Report a Lost or Stolen Gun
Though the sooner the better, within 48 hours make sure to report the theft when you discover the guns missing or stolen. It is important to protect your liability because in the event your firearm was stolen and shortly used in a crime and recovered by law enforcement, they will come knocking on your door and not to return you firearm. You can be linked to the crime if you do not. Report it missing or stolen to ensure your innocence. Below are the steps you need to take.
1) Contact local law enforcement and make a report on the missing firearm(s). This is beneficial as it helps you recover your firearm if found and as mentioned, it establishes you are another victim and not a suspect in a crime where your firearm may have been involved. The firearms’ make, model and serial number are among the details that needed to be reported. .
2) You will then want to contact the ATF, The U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosive, after contacting your local law enforcement agency. Usually, your local law enforcement will remind you to contact ATF and file a report as well. They will email or fax you a document to fill out and when completed, you can drop it off to a local AFT office, mail, or fax back to them. In the event it doesn’t get filed right away you can provide a copy to law enforcement, you will want to make sure to make a copy for yourself and keep it in your records.
3) Though citizens cannot, law enforcement and military can access the serial number obtained to a stolen firearm from the help of ATF as this information is kept in a national registration database. You will need to find that information on your own if you are a citizen and cannot provide a serial number. If necessary, you can call the dealer where you bought your firearm from, as they should have kept the sale on their records and the firearms serial number. In the event the dealer is no longer in business, you can reach out to your local law enforcement agency, and they may be able to request from the National Tracing Center to do a Record Search Request to try to provide your firearms’ serial number.
How to Keep Gun Safe at Home
To help prevent theft of your firearms, make sure to keep your firearm store and lock up in a safe. Safes do not necessarily mean they are completely secure and all protection should be established and in the unfortunate event that your firearms are stolen, Shooting Range Industries just want to stress the importance of making a report.