Of the three AR-15s and two shotguns that were stolen from northern California law enforcement vehicles last January four have been recovered and some of the alleged perps involved in the theft are now behind bars charged with federal crimes.
All but one of the guns stolen in recent months from Contra Costa County sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol cruisers have been recovered, and three men are facing federal charges in the case, authorities said Monday.
Three AR-15 semiautomatic rifles and two shotguns were stolen from law enforcement cruisers and then sold at least twice, according to investigators. Of the five recovered weapons, four belong to the sheriff’s office and one to the CHP. An AR-15 belonging to the sheriff’s office is still unaccounted for, and investigators believe it may have been disassembled for parts, said sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee.
Daniel William Vess, 20, and Kao Kweng Saephan, 24, have pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Oakland to possessing a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that had been transported in interstate commerce. The weapon was made outside California.
A third suspect, Brandon Buchanan, 27, of Stockton was arrested Thursday. Authorities said the guns were sold to an unspecified person who then resold them to Buchanan.
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How in the world could these crooks have gotten their hands on these weapons to begin with? Why weren’t these firearms secured inside a locked building after the shift ended instead of being left overnight inside police cars?
Most folks probably think it would take someone with some fairly heavy brass nads to go breaking into police cars and steal guns but the fact of the matter is, these days there are plenty of people roaming around who are more than willing to take the risk.
In fact, criminals stealing weapons from law enforcement officers seems to be quite common these days as can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here a fully automatic M-16 rifle is stolen, here a gun stolen from a cop is used to kill another officer and this officer had his gun stolen while he lay injured inside his crashed police vehicle!
One would think law enforcement personnel, of all people, would be most cognizant of firearm security especially since they are on the front lines every day with the potential of staring down the barrel of a gun that may have been stolen from a fellow officer.
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I often hear the dimwitted among us declaring we should reject the Second Amendment in our Constitution, saying only the military and police officers should possess weapons but as we can clearly see criminals will get their hands on guns no matter what, never mind the utterly frightening thought of being under the thumb of some tyrannical police or military force, similar to the inhabitants of so many third world countries, with no way of fighting back or defending ones’ self.
It is almost inconceivable, with the constant barrage of gun crime constantly splashed all over the media these days, that police officers are so cavalier with the security of their weapons yet it’s the civilian gun owners under assault from city governments with all of these stupid useless stolen gun ordinances.
City Council voted 4-3 Monday to adopt an ordinance that requires Reading handgun owners to notify police within 24 hours of discovering that their weapon was lost or stolen. For several months council debated the measure, which some members questioned but Mayor Tom McMahon strongly supported.
“I’m going to ask council to make the city safer for our citizens, to make it safer for our police officers not to be shot by stolen guns, to make it safer for our children,” he said.
The ordinance requires handgun owners to notify police within 24 hours of discovering the loss or theft of their weapon. Failing to do so could result in a $1,000 fine or 90 days in jail.
McMahon said too often people who can buy guns legally sell them to people who are not allowed to own guns, such as felons. When those guns turn up in a crime, the so-called straw buyers claim they were stolen.
Is this McMahon guy really that stupid? Stolen guns rarely turn up at crime scenes because the bad guy shoots someone then leaves….with the firearm. Does this idiot think someone is going to do the deed then just set the gun down on the floor? And is the crime any less heinous because it was committed with a firearm stolen from a police officer?
One thing is certain, the guns being stolen from law enforcement officers are not taken by National Rifle Association members, they are ripped off by common criminals hoping to either make a pile of money by selling them to people who are not legally able to purchase a gun or they plan on using them in the commission of a crime.
Every firearm owner, including law enforcement officers, have the duty and the responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep their weapons out of the hands of these criminals.
I know I’m doing my part officers…are you doing yours?