New web site feature, “Web Site Wednesday: Did You Know?” November Wednesday web site posts will feature resources and tips on selected crime prevention topics for our community. This month I am kicking off Web Site Wednesday: Did You Know? with resources on safe gun storage and information about responsible gun ownership.
TRENDING: There were 15 guns reported stolen in the Foothills Area Command in October. These guns were stolen during auto and residential burglaries, with the majority stolen during auto burglaries. Why are we leaving guns unsecured in vehicles, parking, and walking away? The potential for tragedy is needlessly high by not properly securing firearms.
Securing or storing a gun: There are gun safes made for home and vehicle use on the market in a variety of models. You can also secure a gun with a cable lock or a trigger lock. Cases, lock boxes, locking safes, and the like are also available for home use. New developments in the field include bio-metric access, cameras inside safes to snap a picture of who is opening the gun safe, silent operating features (can’t hear the safe opening), electronic and battery operated safes.
Safes: Consider placement — can you get to the safe and is it easily accessible to you? Can you bolt the safe to a wall or floor so the entire safe can’t be stolen in a burglary? Safes are available for drawers, walls, floors, garages, cabinets, etc. Buy the best quality you can afford. Buy bigger than you think you need (you may add more guns or other items in the safe later). Is the door rigid? Is it steel? How much steel? Are there gaps in the safe door that can be pried? Does the door bolt bend if pried? Is the steel plating resistant to a drill? Is the safe fire resistant? Are you storing ammo separately from the firearm(s)?
Family issues: Start the discussion now — do not delay. Children need to know the difference between a real gun and a toy. Teens need tools on leadership regarding friends and guns, showing off a gun, the difference between ‘tattling’ and ‘telling a responsible adult,’ handling peer pressure about playing around with guns, settling disputes by ‘scaring’ others with a gun and other factors that teens face during their transitional period to adulthood. If parents own a gun, family education about firearms should be a conversational topic.
To find state laws on guns: The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence at www.smartgunlaws.org/gun-policy
National Rifle Association (training, finding state laws, and more): www.nraila.org/gun-laws-state-laws.aspx
Frequently Asked Questions about Firearms: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at www.atf.gov
National Crime Prevention Council “Lock It Up” Campaign, “Safe Firearms Storage” Campaign and “Starting a Dialogue with Children about Firearms Safety” at www.ncpc.org
Recent article, “Where Criminals Get Their Guns” in the Albuquerque Journal, March 10, 2016 article
Free trigger locks: I have 20 free trigger locks and companion print material here at the Foothills Substation (12800 Lomas Blvd NE) for the community. Come by anytime Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. and pick up a free trigger lock, child’s bookmark and certificate. Guns are being stolen at alarming rates from vehicles and homes — the APD Foothills team wants to help you with resources for gun safety and safe storage for firearms.
Property Crime in the Foothills Area Command: Tuesday, November 1st
2 Residential Burglaries: 12500-block of Singing Arrow SE, 1100-block of Mary Ellen NE. Entries: kicked in front doors of both dwellings; one occupied, one vacant. Stole a mirror from the vacant dwelling, nothing taken from the other dwelling.
6 Auto Burglaries: 200-block of Eubank SE, two vehicles at the same address on the 10500-block of Toltec NE, 12300-block of Mountain Rd NE, 12200-block of Academy Rd NE, 4700-block of Morris NE. Five of six auto burglaries are looking like they were unforced entries to unlocked vehicles at time of research; the forced entry was by popping the door lock. Stolen? Vehicle registration and insurance documents, drivers licenses, Social Security cards, debit cards, credit cards, car stereo, computer bag, flash drives, tools, a trunk storage unit and keys.
I hope you will enjoy the November “Web Site Wednesdays: Did you know?” series coming up. The Wednesday pieces will be geared towards what is trending in the Foothills Area Command and are designed to provide you with resources to research on your own or to have family discussions on the topics that are coming up so you will be safer and practicing crime prevention all month related to the topics presented.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command