The ATF website is a treasure trove of information for anyone who wants to spend the time poking around. In an effort to put a finer point on how many guns are lost each year I dug into the data showing handguns recovered from crimes listed in the e-Trace database. A few things really jumped out right away. What we know is 480,000+ guns were reported stolen in 2022. This number is NOT specifically handguns. It includes long guns, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, etc. . Yet ATF e-Trace got 623,000 requests from Law Enforcement agencies around the country that same year. That’s 143,000, give or take, guns being found used in crimes, but apparently not reported stolen.
Statista and Everytown position themselves as data repositories of gun related data. If you juxtapose their data over the ATF numbers, or even each others, there’s an even bigger gap. More could only be thought of falling into the lost gun category. Statista reports a total of only 5,484 (pistols, revolvers & derringers) stolen in the entire US for 2021!
And when consider you that people who “lose” their guns say they were stolen out of embarrassment and possible future liability, the gap between stolen and lost gets even fuzzier. When they realize they left their handgun somewhere and the gun isn’t there when they go back they say it was stolen.
Responsibility is essential in this discussion. Do you take the steps of a forward leaning conscientious gun owner and look at technology like Gun Leash to avoid the incidence? Or do you wait till after it happens to you to consider taking steps?