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Experts say straw purchasing, stolen guns are likely contributing to gun crime

Stolen guns and straw purchasing
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - While the federal government this week is cracking down on those ghost guns you can buy online, local law enforcement tells us there’s another way of getting guns that’s creating a much bigger problem in the Birmingham area.

Retired from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, David Hyche, said during his years working in Birmingham and with Birmingham Police, most guns used in crimes didn’t belong to the shooters. Hyche is the current Calera Police Chief.

“The vast majority of the guns we recover are going to be stolen or straw purchased,” Hyche said.

Straw purchasing is when someone legally buys a gun but gives it to someone who isn’t legally allowed to carry.

“Girlfriends and even mothers are buying guns for them at guns stores,” Hyche said. “They are buying guns for the convicted felon. When they are caught and punished for doing these purchases, the straw purchaser, the penalty is a slap on the wrist. There is no deterrent.”

Hyche said while they can’t stop straw purchasing or guns from being stolen, they can track them down better with gun owners’ help.

“If we don’t have our make model and serial number recorded, well then when a criminal uses it in a crime, it can’t be traced back to that criminal. It can’t be traced at all because nobody has the make model and serial number. “

Hyche said writing down your gun’s information can help you get it back and the person who stole it arrested.

“If you don’t have that serial number, then it is not possible to trace that gun to a crime,” Hyche said.

Hyche said police departments do not want to keep track of your gun information, they only need it if your firearm is stolen. He recommends keeping the information stored in a separate place than your guns, so the information won’t also get taken.

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