St. Lawrence County had the highest number of guns stolen of any North Country county in 2013, according to recent report by state police Troop B.
Troop B, which includes St. Lawrence County, reported a total of 87 guns stolen in northern New York in 2013, with 49 stolen guns in St. Lawrence County, according to the report. Of the stolen St. Lawrence County guns, 13 were handguns and 36 were “long guns.”
Neighboring Franklin County reported the next highest number at 27 guns stolen, 9 handguns and 18 long guns, police said.
The majority of the stolen guns were taken from private residences, with a small quantity stolen from motor vehicles during hunting season, officers said.
“Although still a concern for police, this total actually represents a 38 percent decrease from 2012 when 141 guns were reported stolen,” according to the report.
Along with the number of guns stolen, police are concerned about the inaccurate descriptions and lack of serial numbers for most long guns reported stolen. In 2013, 52 percent of the long guns reported stolen did not include an accurate description or a serial number, officers said.
Although this is a significant improvement from years past, the lack of accurate identification of these guns causes considerable obstacles for law enforcement agencies when investigating thefts and identifying stolen guns upon recovery.
State police are encouraging gun owners to protect their gun collections and to maintain an accurate and reliable inventory of firearms. This includes recording the make, model, caliber and serial number of every gun and immediately providing this information to police should any gun be lost or stolen.
A gun inventory record should be stored in a secure location separate from the firearms, police said.
A “Personal Firearms Record” form, distributed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, is available at www.atf.gov.
Call the state Police Gun Investigation Unit at 518-897-2093 to request a free copy of the form or to report suspicious gun activity.
A list of gun thefts in the North Country by county follows:
• Clinton County– 7 stolen guns (4 handguns, 3 long guns)
• Essex County– 4 stolen guns (3 handguns, 1 long gun)
• Franklin County– 27 stolen guns (9 handguns, 18 long guns)
• St. Lawrence County – 49 stolen guns (13 handguns, 36 long guns)
• Hamilton County– 0 stolen guns