Expert: Stolen Guns Big Problem for Memphis

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(Memphis) There is one issue the mayor plans to tackle; stolen guns on the streets.  Experts say they account for at least a third of all gun crimes across the nation.

“They took a .45 Glock pistol from me,” said C.M. Sturgis who left the gun in the glove box of his car.

If crooks can steal from Sturgis, a former Memphis police officer and FBI agent, they can steal from anyone.

“I am keenly aware of how easy it is for a criminal to get hold of a weapon,” he said. “[It’s because] people like me make bad decisions.

In the last year alone, 835 guns were reported stolen in Memphis according to MPD, but firearm policy expert, Andrew McClurg, says even more go unreported.

“People don't report them because they might be illegal to begin with or they're carrying them illegally or have them without a permit in a car or they're afraid of being stigmatized or perhaps afraid of the liability or other ramifications,” he said, “so we don't really have a firm handle on the problem.”

Thursday, we tried to find out exactly how Mayor A C Wharton plans to attack the problem with his administration's newest program called ‘Gun Down’.

We tried to talk to the Mayor, but never got an interview. 

McClurg says tracking stolen guns is one big piece to this illegal gun puzzle.

“From my understanding the mayor is proposing that the laws would increase the penalty on those carrying stolen guns,” he said. “It also might make sense to increase penalties on those stealing guns and of course the ultimate solution and the best solution would be if people kept their guns secure so that they weren't stolen in the first place.”

Police Director Armstrong was not available Thursday either.

He did say he was willing to get together on Friday and shed some light on how they hope the Gun Down plan will work.