Study: Southern U.S. a hotbed for gun theft
By Christen Smith
Between 2012 and 2015, thieves lifted $328 million worth of guns from private owners across the southern United States, according to a study released this week.
The Center for American Progress said Tuesday more than half of the 1.2 million privately-owned firearms stolen over those three years came from southern states. Seven of the top 10 states where 22,000 guns go missing from retailers daily are southern: Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.
“This problem does not affect all states equally,” the study says. “From 2012 through 2015, the average rate of the five states with the highest rates of gun theft from private owners — Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Alabama — was 13 times higher than the average rate of the five states with the lowest rates — Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts.”
Likewise, gun store thefts occurred 18 times more often in the top five ranking states as compared to the bottom five. Dealers in Georgia reported more than 1,100 guns stolen in 2016 — a 122 percent increase over the year before. South Carolina gun store thefts tripled in the same time-frame, according to the study.
“Every two minutes, a gun is