- Associated Press - Saturday, December 2, 2017

CRESTWOOD, Mo. (AP) - Two recent gun store robberies in eastern Missouri are the latest examples of a growing national crime trend.

Police are investigating gun shop burglaries earlier this week at Southern Armory in Crestwood and Modern Weapons Systems in High Ridge, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .

Data show the number of burglaries per year has generally remained steady in Missouri, hovering between 12 and 19 over a five-year period. Nearly 150 guns were stolen by burglary last year in Missouri.

Federal licensees reported nearly 7,500 guns stolen in burglaries last year to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The national figure increased almost 60 percent in a year.

The number of burglaries has also increased, according to agency data. The U.S. saw just under 380 reported burglaries in 2012, but nearly 560 last year.

There are no federal laws for how brick-and-mortar gun shops should secure their weapons. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said that only nine states have rules mandating some type of security standards for gun dealers. Missouri is not one of them.

“Unfortunately, federal firearms regulations do not specify a certain level of security,” said John Ham, a public information officer for ATF. He said the agency and the gun industry do try to work together to offer recommendations to firearm dealers.

Ham said burglars often sell the weapons at an expensive price to people who can’t obtain firearms legally.

“If they’re willing to take the risk … they can steal these guns, and more importantly, they can offload them,” he said. “There are plenty of people out there that are willing to buy them at high prices and very quickly.”


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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