Guns stolen from St. Charles County cars on rise

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by Maggie Crane / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 21 at 10:46 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Police say a lot of murders in the city are traced back to illegal guns. In fact, just on Monday, St. Louis Metropolitan Police pulled an illegal pistol off a man in North St. Louis. It turns out, some of you might be making it easy for the bad guys to get guns, even if you live in the county.

Police say just this year, more than 45 firearms have been stolen out of cars throughout St. Charles County.

St. Charles city reports 12 incidents with a total of 16 weapons stolen. O'Fallon police say they have had 10weapons reported stolen this year.

You need a permit to drive a car, but in Mossouri you don’t need one to own a gun. In Missouri it’s perfecly legal for anyone over 21 who is not a felon to carry a gun in their car. That means any car you see could potentially have a loaded weapon inside—left waiting—while the owners leave.

The St. Louis Police Chief says Missouri gun laws are just not strong enough, and criminals know it.

Just this year more than 45 guns have been stolen from cars throughout St. Charles County. St. Peters had five swiped; several were from unlocked cars. Police say anyone who steals a gun, is up to no good.

“Others may be using them in crimes or they may be selling them to people who would be using them in a crime,” St. Peters Police Officer Melissa Doss said.

While thefts from cars are high nearly everywhere you look, police say there are so many throughout St. Charles County because people are generally more trusting here.

“t’s more prevalent out here I think because people are more trusting,” Officer Doss said. “They’re more trusting of their environment because we do live in a very great city, a very safe city, and people assume that that type of crime doesn’t happen, and it does.”

Especially, she says, since Missouri law now allows anyone over 21 to carry a gun in their car. The problem is leaving it behind.

“You can’t bring guns into hospitals, you can’t bring guns into schools, you can’t bring guns into polling places on election day,” Josh Gilliam, said.

The list goes on and on, meaning more firearms are left unattended everyday. Trainers, like Gilliam, at Ultimate Defense teach their shooters to be responsible gun owners. They sell gun safes for your car for just $25 -- a small investment for big peace of mind.

“The responsible armed citizen knows that he needs to lock his firearm up, so the handgun comes off his body, goes into the box, the box closes, locks up,” Gilliam said.

“It really comes down to responsibility and your own personal morals,” Offficer Doss said. “How you would feel if that was stolen from your vehcile and that gun was used in a crime?”

 

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