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Theft and property crimes: Tennessee sees increase in gun thefts

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reports that Tennessee is experiencing an increase in the number of gun thefts. Gun shop owners are concerned about theft and property crimes of this nature. A recent robbery at a gun shop in LaVergne appears to be part of a trend where larger numbers of firearms are being stolen at one time.

ATF officials cite statistics that show the increase in stolen firearms. Previously, around five or six guns were stolen in a given incident. However, officers are seeing much larger numbers involved in robberies today. The LaVergne gun shop saw 39 firearms taken from the store over a weekend.

Reports show that over 18,000 firearms were stolen or lost in 2016 nationally. Tennessee ranked in the top 10 for most reports. This is a concern since stolen firearms may also be used in a violent crime, such as assault or homicide.

One way to counter this trend is to only purchase firearms from a licensed retailer, rather than a private seller. This reduces the chance of buying a stolen gun. It is important to save the sales receipt and the serial number. This is crucial information to share with officials if someone has a firearm stolen.

As police focus on stolen guns or other types of theft and property crimes, those charged with such a crime would benefit from guidance through the complex legal process. Anyone facing these charges has a right to present a strong defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the specific situation and develop a defense that will help minimize any negative impact on a client's life.

Source: fox17.com, "ATF: Gun thefts are on the rise in Tennessee", Nikki Junewicz, May 23, 2017

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