Police Rapport: Avoiding Deaths By Securing Your Guns

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The police in Northwest Arkansas are tracking an uptick in stolen guns from unlocked vehicles.

In March, a teen accidentally shot and killed another teen with a stolen gun in Springdale. 

That gun was one of six stolen from various unlocked cars in Elkins. 

“We have a firearm in a car, unsecured, and the car is also unlocked. We’re just making it way to easy for thieves,” says Sergeant Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department.

Sergeant Page estimates one gun is reported missing each week. As we’ve recently seen, some of those guns can easily wind up in the wrong hands and can end in a deadly way.

“It’s horrible when you hear about that,” says Stephannie Baker with Bentonville Moms Demand Action.

Baker is working alongside police to raise awareness on preventing accidental shootings in Northwest Arkansas.

“We just need to make sure that responsible gun owners remain diligent of the storage of the firearm and it’s a lifelong responsibility,” says Baker 

There is no law in Arkansas prohibiting you from keeping your firearm in a vehicle but police recommend you to not do that at all.

“Usually it goes back to complacency. I get comfortable with that firearm, I know that I own it, maybe it’s not comfortable to keep on my person at all times, so it ends up spending more time in the car and that’s the wrong place to store it,” said Sergeant Page.

Sergeant Page said to know exactly where to reach to quickly find your firearm especially with your car doors left unlocked.

“So one of the places we see firearms left at the most is that dreaded center console. This is the wrong place to hold the gun. Another place we see people try to store their weapons is in the glove box. They do have locks on them but remember this is made of plastic, it’s not gonna stop a thief. Also wrong. Putting it under the seat is just as bad. It might be out of sight, but it’s still within easy reach,” said Sergeant Page.

Police said gun owners need to be responsible and aware of where their firearm is are at all times to prevent injury, death, and also a loss of your own property.

A stolen gun will end up in police evidence and who knows when you will see it again.

If you would like Jennifer and Gene cover a specific topic in our Police Rapport segment, email your ideas to Jennifer at jpenate@knwa.com or message her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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