Nobody wants to experience the theft of a firearm - or any kind of theft, for that matter. A home burglary can be an especially traumatic event because it takes place in your comfortable, safe zone. Gun owners must take extra precautionary measures to ensure their belongings are safe and protected. No one wants their gun to be used unlawfully, or to harm someone else, so taking steps to secure your gun can go a long way. If you do, in fact, experience the theft of your gun, knowing what to do immediately after you realize it is missing can help you recover it and prevent unnecessary injury or loss of life. It may also protect you from significant legal troubles based on these extenuating circumstances.
It is important to make sure you are adequately prepared for anything ahead of time. If you carry your gun on your person, being aware of your surroundings and making sure that you have a secure, convenient, comfortable holster is important. At home, it is important to take precautionary loss-prevention measures including locking doors and windows, having an updated home security system, and having someone check on your home when you're out of town.
Gun owners should also be aware that advertising the fact that they own guns could potentially make them a target. A sturdy and reliable gun safe is a good preventative measure for protecting your firearms from theft, however, this may not deter thieves from stealing the entire safe – only to open it later. Most gun safes will allow you to securely bolt the safe to the ground or wall. While this could prevent a thief from stealing the entire safe, there is no guarantee.
The Importance of Insurance
It is important to remember that firearms are no different than other valuable items and should be treated the same in the event of theft. Making sure to have your firearm included on your insurance policy, or on a policy of its own, will allow you to file a claim after reporting the theft to law enforcement. Always make sure to have the serial number for your firearm logged in a safe place so you can provide this information in your police statement. This will ensure you are not held liable if your firearm is ever used in a crime.
What to Do If Your Gun Gets Stolen
Even if you've followed all of the necessary precautions, it is still possible to experience theft. Once you realize your gun is gone, contact local law enforcement immediately. If you come upon your home or vehicle and know there is something off, resist the urge to start inventorying or investigating right away. Allow law enforcement to do a thorough search, so that they can gather evidence at the beginning. Contacting law enforcement right away is your best bet to recovering your firearm and making sure that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.