Memphis leads nation in rate of guns stolen from cars, report shows
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new report shows an alarming increase in the number of guns stolen from cars, and Memphis comes in at number one.
Everytown, a group that advocates for stronger gun laws, analyzed FBI statistics over the last decade and found Memphis had the highest rate of guns stolen from cars during that time, with the rate quadrupling from 2011 to 2020.
It’s a problem Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has been calling attention to.
“They’re not stealing guns to go hunting. They’re stealing guns to commit crime,” said Strickland.
Action News 5 found several videos on the Memphis Police Department’s Facebook page authorities say show thieves breaking into cars in neighborhoods and outside businesses.
The mayor says gun thefts from cars have skyrocketed ever since state lawmakers passed a 2014 law allowing adults to have guns in their cars without a permit.
“If there weren’t guns in these cars, they wouldn’t be breaking in nearly as much,” Strickland said.
Memphis Police Department data shows more than 1,800 guns were stolen from cars in Memphis last year.
So far this year, police say 564 guns were stolen from cars, compared to 378 at this point last year.
Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis was even a victim herself back in January, when thieves stole her duty weapon from her car in a smash and grab outside a store in Cordova.
The mayor gave Davis a verbal reprimand.
He says all Memphians need to do a better job securing their weapons.
“Please secure you guns either in your car or in your home,” said Strickland.
MPD says they’ve recovered more than 1,500 stolen guns this year and arrested more than 1,300 people on gun charges, including 106 juveniles.
As for where guns are stolen most often in Memphis, that data was not available Monday. But other data shows thefts from cars in general happen most frequently in three zip codes: 38118 east of the airport toward Parkway Village; 38103 in downtown; and 38104 in Midtown.
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