WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The topic of the day is guns and how we can keep them safe. On Wednesday morning, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay tweeted, “Reading about another handgun stolen from a car. We had over 100 gun thefts from cars last year. This is a preventable crime!!”
Not only is it preventable, it’s a crime that puts too many weapons in the hands of criminals. There are three common places gun owners store their guns; glove boxes, middle consoles or under the seat. However, is storing them enough? Most folks think the “out of sight out of mind” technique works in these cases but experts say otherwise.
“People get comfortable with just throwing their guns in the middle console or glove compartment but when someone breaks into your car looking for money or checkbooks, these are the first places they look,” said gun expert, Brandon Light.
I spoke to a Wichita man who said his gun was stolen from his car just days ago.
“Yea, you would think in a quiet neighborhood like this we wouldn’t have anything to worry about but nope,” he said. “I left my gun in my gym bag in my car and woke up to a brick in my window; my gun was gone.”
The Wichita man asked that we keep his identity safe, so as not to be targeted again but he admits “I probably should have just brought my gun inside, my car was parked outside of my house.”
Experts say there are ways to safely secure your gun in your vehicle but the first thing they suggest is that gun owners recognize that it’s their responsibility to secure their guns at all times whether in the house or car.
There are multiple ways to do this and the first way is the cheapest, using the cable lock that typically comes with all new gun purchases.
“For use inside the vehicle you’d have to unload the gun,” explained Brandon. “This is the safest way; run it through the action of the gun and then secure it to a hard point. You should bolt this under your seat.”
The second way is a simple lock box that can also be stored under your seat and the third is a heavy-duty lock box that only opens with an access code or your fingerprints. These options can be free or cost you up to $200.
“Taking those extra few seconds to a minute to make sure that gun is put away right in a place, where it’s not common for somebody to look if they’re breaking into your car, is going to go a long way to making sure that gun stays safe and in the right hands,” explained Brandon.
If you are in need of a free gun lock, Gander Mountain runs free promotions twice a year. Check with them or head to your local gun shop for prices.