Are All The Illegal Guns On The Street Our Fault?


Illegal guns on the streets, often in large cities, it would seem, are a problem. They are a problem primarily because the people who are looking for illegal guns are, typically, the ones committing crimes with guns. So, you can understand from a practical standpoint (aside from any Constitutional perspectives as to whether anyone can be banned from owning a gun) why law enforcement would be concerned about guns being on the streets illegally.

And if people have guns illegally, how are they getting them? By definition, they are getting them in illegal ways whether that is theft, black market purchases, or some other method. They certainly aren’t getting their hands on illegal guns in a legal manner.

So, where are those guns coming from? A police chief in Maryland tells at least one place. Chris Hayes writes,


“The streets are absolutely flooded with stolen guns,” Maryland Heights Police Chief Bill Carson said.

The chief said many of them are coming from legal gun owners who are carrying them in their cars. Carson said it’s so prevalent now that criminals are confident they’ll find a gun when breaking into a car. He said the criminals are “looking specifically for guns. They’re finding guns and a lot of times when we encounter them, they are armed with guns they’ve stolen out of cars.”

Carson said criminals are targeting parking lots in the city and the suburbs, from hotels to shopping centers.

“They might hit an apartment parking lot and hit 15-20 cars and come up with three guns,” he said. “They’re hitting the jackpot.”

Now, let’s first take up the who is to blame question. The answer is the thieves who steal guns are to blame. If they weren’t stealing, then a gun in a vehicle (or a home, etc.) wouldn’t be an issue.

Having said that, though, as gun owners, we need to remember that it is our job to be the responsible ones. We take responsibility for protecting ourselves and others by owning, training with, and carrying firearms. We also have a responsibility to make sure that our firearms are secured and don’t fall into the hands of the irresponsible (including children) or criminals.

So, are gun owners responsible for all the illegal guns on the street? No. But we should still take the initiative to make sure that our guns are not the ones that are stolen.



  1. Guns in cars wouldn’t be a problem if so many places weren’t allowed to ban lawful gun owners with concealed carry permits from having their firearm on their person. It’s law abiding gun owners who FOLLOW THE LAW that leave them in vehicles. It kinda seems like the govt is setting us up to have our guns stolen by felons.

  2. See your point, but as usual, the problem is criminals not guns! Seeing as how the police are being “phased out”, we all need to be more diligent in our practices.

  3. Scott, I totally agree with your logic and reasoning! Another example of how the government, though well intended, manages to create the problem with their supposed fixes.

    • the government is beyond the point of being well intentioned, and has been for a long time. We should stop promoting those kinds of propaganda and use of explanatory/ convenient phrases. Representatives and worse yet, career bureaucrats all have an agenda and could care less about the peripheral consequences. Most are sociopaths who clamor for office as there is no consequences for any of their actions. They shouldn’t be enabled in any way.

  4. Gun free zones are to blame. Granted a vehicle is not a gun locker and a gun should never be left in a vehicle unless in a locked vault secured to the vehicle, but, if it were not for the proliferation of gun free zones there would never be aneed to leave a firearm in a vehicle.

  5. This is a problem that doesn’t have a 100% foolproof solution, that some intrepid thief won’t circumvent. Even frame mounted lock boxes and safes can be defeated, though they do increase the time the thief has to spend to obtain their prize.
    It doesn’t help that the Judicial system is so FUBAR’d, that it can be argued they actually aid and abet theft, whether it’s due to worthless prosecutors or Liberal Judges. I’ve had two guns stolen in nearly 50 years of legal gun ownership. Both were reported, neither have been recovered. One was a Baby Browning clone, I kept in a dresser drawer rather than a safe, was stolen in a burglary. The other, a .22 Target pistol was stolen by a family member (not immediate family). When I reported it I told the officer my suspicions as to whom it was (either my brother in law or 1 of 2 nephews), but whether or not they were even questioned, I do not know. Both events took place over 25 years ago. Since then, everything’s under lock unless I’m carrying it.
    Best we can do as gun owners, is place as many obstacles as we can against theft, and the hope that it’s a deterrent. I also avoid talking about or showing pictures of my hardware on social media sites. You never know who might be watching, and the SM companies sell your data.

  6. Stealing a gun should be a minimum of 10 years imprisonment, no parole because the thief is messing with a natural and Constitutionally guaranteed right. Do it again and I’d put you in so long it may as well be life. A felon with a gun should be a minimum of 20 years, no parole, and life if caught a second.

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