Stealing from people almost guaranteed to be armed would seem like a dumb idea to most, but not everybody got the memo. Firearm theft from licensed retailers including gun stores is becoming increasingly common, according to data released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this week.
The number of robberies of federal firearms licensees reported to the ATF have increased 227 percent since 2013 and burglaries of such gun purveyors are up 71 percent over that same period.
To make matters worse, the quantity of firearms stolen has increased as thefts become more frequent. In 2013, 3,355 firearms were taken in burglaries, compared with 7,841 in 2017, with a steady increase each year. The trend is slightly different for robberies, which tend to leave perpetrators less time to gather up guns: that number increased from 96 in 2013 to 370 in 2016, but fell to 288 last year.
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