ALBANY - While gun ownership is popular among many Linn County residents, gun safes, comparatively, are not.
"Most people keep them in their dresser or a nice case, like a piece of furniture - it looks good but provides no protection for the gun," said Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller.
There were at least five gun burglaries in Linn County in a three-day period this week.
"Burglars are going to take what is easy to steal and easy to get rid of," Mueller said. "Guns, unfortunately, are on the top of that list."
Thieves may be keeping the guns for themselves as protection or trading them for dope, in part because pawn shops are required to call the Oregon State Police and verify that the serial numbers on guns they accept do not match those of firearms listed as stolen.
Problem is, police and deputies say, many gun owners don't keep track of serial numbers.
The victim of a burglary this week on Upper Calapooia Drive could only describe the two firearms stolen from her home as a ".25 automatic pistol" and a ".22-caliber revolver."
Make, model and serial number were listed as "unknown."
I believe that's Albany Oregon, if I'm not mistaken. Two very interesting things come from the first part of this article. One, that gun owners have to start taking more responsibility in the storing and securing of their weapons, and two, that we need a national gun registry.
Most people don't write down their credit card numbers or their car serial number and keep them in a separate place, just like most gun owners don't do that with their guns. I guess people presume that "it won't happen the them." A gun registry would solve this problem.
A Ruger pistol was reported stolen Wednesday from an unlocked pickup parked in the 700 block of Queen Avenue Southeast. Although the owner didn't have a serial number, the store that sold him the gun, Bi-Mart, was able to retrieve the number from its records.Though many of the hundreds of firearms in the Linn County Sheriff's Office evidence locker were seized during drug busts and weren't stolen, law enforcement officers believe some belong to local folks.
Examples like this make you wonder. How could someone leave a gun in an unlocked vehicle? My answer to this is a bit harsh, I admit. I say stupidity like that should be answered with immediate disqualification to own guns. The Gazette article goes on in a softer tone, but with good advice.
When it comes to protecting your guns, advice from law enforcement is simple: write down serial numbers and other identifying characteristics and lock up your firearms when you are not with them.
"The average Linn County criminal is not going to be able to get into a gun safe," Mueller said. "Their objective is to get in, get what they can and get out of there as quick as they can.
"It's like leaving a purse in the front seat of a car. Some people just make it too easy for criminals to take those things."
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