Those opposed to gun rights like to suggest that this country’s law abiding gun owners are irresponsible, and that only the police should have firearms. As the cases discussed below show, that argument is flawed, and law police officers negligently lose firearms with depressing regularity:
As reported, a New York City police officer allegedly parked his unlocked squad car (which contained a loaded shotgun) and left the engine running, while he went into a local diner at 8am. A thief took advantage of the situation and stole the car, before eventually abandoning the vehicle at LaGuardia International Airport, according to police. A suspect was arrested in the airport, and the officer who allegedly left his car and shotgun unattended was reportedly suspended.
As another example, the Houston Police Department allowed convicted criminals to enter their evidence rooms and steal over 30 guns.
Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security recently released a report stating that its officers had lost 243 firearms so far, including ones left in restroom and other public places.
In those cases and many others, police negligence directly led to the arming of criminals. We’ll never know exactly how many of those guns wound up in the hands of violent criminals. Nor will we know how many of those crimes were blamed on supposedly lax gun gun laws, when it was actually a police officer or other government official that negligently armed the criminal. As a law abiding gun owner who properly stores his firearms in such a way as to virtually eliminate the risk of theft, I find it sad that there are law enforcement officials who can’t manage to at least do as good of as a job.
Finally, I would note that when a law abiding citizen negligently leaves a gun unsecured, and a criminal is able to easily steal that gun, it is a problem. But when a criminal is able to steal not only a police officer’s gun, but also their squad car and/or other official police gear, that criminal can easily impersonate a cop. For example, just imagine what harm could have been inflicted had the New York City cop car thief decided to pull over a motorist, “arrest” them, and then take them to a secluded location.
Remember, safe and responsible gun storage is the responsibility of every gun owner – including those who are police officers.