MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Gun theft from cars is a big problem in Memphis.
According to data released by Everytown Research and Policy, the Bluff City ranks number one in the country for weapons stolen from cars.
Chattanooga comes in a close second.
Columbia, SC, and North Charleston, SC, are in third and fourth place.
MORE: Local activists fear gun thefts from cars will lead to more violence in Memphis
The Memphis Police Department has long asked gun owners to secure their guns by not leaving them in vehicles.
More stolen guns means more guns on the street, which can lead to more violence.
According to Everytown, gun thefts from cars have increased dramatically over the past decade.
The biggest increase occurred at the start of the COVID pandemic, when arms sales peaked.
Crime also increased during the pandemic.
In April, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reported more than a dozen guns stolen from cars after a series of break-ins.
Tennessee law requires gun owners to keep guns out of sight, locked in the trunk or glove compartment when someone is not in the car.
MORE: MPD Police Chief’s Gun Stolen in Car Break-in, Department Says
The gun of Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis was even stolen from her car while she was shopping in Cordova.
The weapon was in a gun safe at the time of the break-in, police said.
Davis later released a statement that read in part:
This was an unfortunate incident and a reminder of the public safety challenges we face as a community. This will only strengthen my resolve to take stolen weapons off our streets and bring those perpetrators to justice.”
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