Insider Exclusive: Gun Store Burglaries Up, More Guns Being Stolen, Says ATF

By Dave Workman

The dramatic smash-and-grab burglary of a Bellevue, Washington gun store — the second such incident at that store in the past two years — was part of what appears to be a growing trend, according to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Insider Online spoke with ATF sources who confirmed that during the years from 2012 to 2016, gun store burglaries went up 48.01 percent, from 337 in 2012 to 558 in 2016. Data for 2017 will likely be available sometime next month, noted Jan Kemp, ATF information officer in Washington, D.C.

The number of firearms being stolen during those burglaries has gone up 72.53 percent. Jut take a look at the accompanying ATF chart. If people think criminals get their guns from gun shows or legitimately from retail outlets, the figures offer a hint to the contrary.

Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

That’s not all. Robberies of federally licensed firearms retailers went up 175 percent, from a dozen in 2012 to 33 in 2016. While it seems to be the zenith of stupidity to rob a gun shop, it is happening. The number of guns stolen during these robberies has climbed a startling 213.56 percent.

Handguns account for the majority of stolen guns. That’s the way it played out in Bellevue, where the thieves grabbed about four dozen handguns and used their stolen smash car to get away.

The Bellevue gun shop burglary involved three criminals using a stolen car to ram through the doors of the building. Insider Online is familiar with that shop, West Coast Armory, and it as secure a facility as we’ve ever seen with bars on the windows and doors, rugged locks, security cameras and an alarm.

The earlier caper had the perpetrators driving a stolen car through the brick wall! Incredibly, some holier-than-though types took to social media and tried to suggest that the shop was at least partly at fault for not locking up all their guns. But isn’t that exactly what the owners did by putting bars on the doors and windows?

One point about these burglaries that nobody seems eager to discuss is how they allow the criminal element to once again demonstrate that the much-ballyhooed “universal background check” measure passed by voters in 2014 is irrelevant. Bad guys who steal guns don’t bother with background checks, nor do the other bad guys who buy the stolen hardware.

All these increasingly strict gun control laws do is inconvenience honest citizens who wouldn’t even consider committing a crime, say Second Amendment activists. Many, if not most, of the handguns stolen in such rip-offs wind up in the hands of juvenile thugs who can’t legally own handguns, much less carry them concealed.

But does any of this impress the gun prohibition lobby and their legislative lapdogs?

States Facing More Gun Control Challenges

Insider Online reached out to sources in several states to get a feel for what rights activists are facing as state legislative sessions get underway this month.

Dave Kopp, president of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, noted via email that legislation was pre-filed late in 2017 that would require background checks on all sales and transfers (undefined) of firearms. Translation: Universal background checks. If H.B. 2024 passes, says Kopp, “fallout would be severe.”

Dave Kopp

“Outside of the obvious consequences,” says Kopp, “federalization of all private firearm transactions is a horribly bad idea. It’s bad enough that we’ve created a database of lawful owners and transactions through the retail chain, now we want to force every single instance of a gun changing hands in America into that dataset? The rotation of the earth will be upset from the Founders spinning in their graves.”

Kopp has company. Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, told Insider Online that legislation that would require video recording of every retail firearms transaction is still in play in the Prairie State.

Richard Pearson

Philip Van Cleave

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League — the guy who sued Katie Couric over some fancy editing in a gun control documentary — reported that lawmakers in the Old Dominion will be considering legislation that “would ban anything that would increase the rate of fire for a semi-automatic.” Translation: A bump stock ban.

The measure is Senate Bill 1, Van Cleave noted.

Out in Washington State, anti-gun Attorney General Bob Ferguson will reportedly keep pushing for a ban on original capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds. He argued for the ban during the 2017 session, but it didn’t get out of committee.

But since then, three things have happened: Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs and a special Evergreen State Senate election that tipped complete power to Democrats now on the job in the state capitol in Olympia. Coincidentally, gun rights activists are planning to gather on the Capitol steps Friday morning to protest several gun control proposals, including the dismantling of state preemption, which prohibits local governments from adopting their own gun laws

New 9mm From Ruger Announced

Sturm, Ruger & Company delivered a post-Christmas present for handgunners by introducing the Security-9 semi-auto pistol, described as “an affordable, rugged, mid-sized centerfire pistol.”

Designed with a 15-round double-stack magazine, the Security-9 has a glass-filled nylon grip frame with textured surface and molded accessory rail. It houses a rigid one-piece aluminum chassis with full-length guide rails and an alloy steel slide and barrel.

The front and rear sights are dovetailed into the slide, and it has an external extractor.

No doubt this pistol will get plenty of attention later this month at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas. In the meantime, here are more details: It has a 4-inch barrel cut with a 1:10-inch rifling twist, and hits the scale at 23.7 ounces. There’s a hammer catch to help prevent contact with the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled, and there’s a version that comes with a 10-round magazine for those regions where magazine limits are already in place.

The MSRP is $379.00, so this definitely is an affordable carry piece for armed citizens.

Check Back Each Week For More Insider Online Articles

Read More Insider Online Articles

Make sure you get Insider Online every week. Click here to sign up now.