Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How Many Guns are Stolen Each Year?

Re-posted for the edification of Kurt Hofmann who loves to play dumb and avoid Google when it's convenient to do so.

How Many Guns Are Stolen Each Year?

One of our favorite commenters recently expressed doubt as to the claim that a half-a-million guns are stolen each year. Of course, this is a guy known to bend the truth a bit in the name of a good argument, so it's hard to tell if he was even serious.  Furthermore, he's a guy who firmly believes in the million-plus numbers of DGUs which are based on telephone interviews with self-aggrandizing gun owners boasting about their exploits. But, with hard numbers of stolen guns reported around 200,000, even though such reports are not required and may very well reflect badly on the stupid gun owners who keep their guns under the pillow for safekeeping, this unnamed commenter finds it hard to believe the true number is up around a half-a-million.


Guns stolen from homes: Almost 600,000 guns are stolen each year from private homes, according to poll data on gun-owning households.

Johns Hopkins University puts the number at 500,000


“I think [the report] needs to be put in context,” said Lawrence Keane, assistant secretary and general counsel at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the gun industry. The number of guns that are stolen each year is likely to be much higher, Keane said, referring to a widely cited survey by the U.S. Department of Justice that suggests it’s closer to 500,000. However, even half a million stolen guns represents a small fraction of how many guns are sold, manufactured and imported in the United States every year, he said. (The ATF estimates that about 6.5 million firearms were manufactured and another 3.2 million were imported in 2011.)

US Bureau of Statistics gives the number of REPORTED guns stolen.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report last November with lower -- but still alarming -- numbers. According to the report, 1.4 million firearms were stolen during burglaries and other property crimes between 2005 and 2010. That's an average of 232,400 annually. 

The ATF gives us the number REPORTED, even though it's not required. One can only guess at the multiplication factor required to reach the actual number of guns stolen.

In 2012, NCIC received reports reflecting 190,342 lost and stolen firearms nationwide. Of those 
190,342 lost and stolen firearms reported, 16,667 (9% of the total reported) were the result of 
thefts/losses from FFLs. Of the 16,667 firearms reported as lost or stolen from a FFL, a total of 
10,915 firearms were reported as lost. The remaining 5,762 were reported as stolen. 


  1. . . . this unnamed commenter . . .

    Well, "unnamed," that is, except in the previous paragraph.

    . . . finds it hard to believe the true number is up around a half-a-million.

    What I find "hard to believe" is any assertion made by someone unwilling and/or unable to support it, and up until now (days later) that's exactly the kind of assertion your "half a million stolen guns a year" was.

    But yes--now you have finally cited support for your numbers, in a fashion that only a true drama queen could pull off (perhaps that makes it worth the wait). Dubious support, in that it relies on the high end of the range--the end noticeably populated by agenda-driven "gun control" advocates, but it's what I asked for. Thank you.

    Furthermore, he's a guy who firmly believes in the million-plus numbers of DGUs which are based on telephone interviews with self-aggrandizing gun owners boasting about their exploits.

    By the way, when have I ever expressed belief in those numbers? I certainly don't remember having done so, and I have no need to, since I refuse to allow my fundamental human rights to be held hostage to any requirement for some favorable statistical outcome.

    1. Kurt, if you were the same person referred to in the original post, why did you make me provide support AGAIN for this claim? Is that part of your integrity and honesty?

      "But yes--now you have finally cited support for your numbers"
      What do you mean "finally?" The original post was October of last year, and I'm sure it was mentioned in between too. I repeat, is this your being honest with us, Kurt?

    2. Why fight the numbers? Use your numbers. Question is why are you willing to do nothing about stolen guns that end up killing innocent people. You obviously don't care about the problem of stolen guns, or the innocent dead because of stolen guns. No surprise from a criminal thinker like you.

  2. Good grief. Does anyone in the gun rights community think at all about how those stolen guns are used? People are killed with them. Sometimes crimes are committed. Half a million or more is a very large number of guns that get into the illegal market and get used for something they shouldn't be.

    1. No, I don't think they do, japete. It's part of the honesty that Kurt keeps talking about.