Man reports his gun stolen, police arrest him

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Photo: Private guns. Kelly McCarthy with permission.

Police officers in Stamford, Connecticut raided the home of a gun owner, confiscated his firearms, stripped him of his gun permit, arrested him and charged him with two gun storage crimes after he called them to report a stolen handgun.

Gun owners are encouraged by law enforcement to immediately report any stolen firearms, in the event it is then used in a crime. In July 2019, Stamford police arrested a local attorney for not reporting stolen firearms.

That’s why Christopher Jerome, 26, called promptly police last Monday to report a handgun stolen from the glove compartment of his car, the Stamford Advocate reports.

Jerome left the car unlocked the night before because he planned to quickly return. He ended up not returning to the car and forgot he left it unlocked. When he returned to the car the next morning he found it had been broken into and his gun stolen. He quickly called police.

Officer arrived and arrested Jerome, charging with reckless endangerment and keeping a firearm in a vehicle.

His gun permit was seized by officers.

Police then raided his home and confiscated his remaining firearms, a semiautomatic Glock pistol, another handgun and a semi-automatic AR-15.

Jerome was released from jail after posting a $1,000.00 bond.

Police took advantage of a new law requiring gun owners to keep their firearms locked in large safes. While proper gun storage is a responsibility of any gun owner, and Jerome shouldn’t have left his gun unlocked, such laws are often passed simply as a pretext for gun confiscation.

“Under a new law that went into effect Oct. 1, Jerome was charged with a misdemeanor count of unsafe storage of a gun in a motor vehicle in addition to the reckless endangerment charge,” the Advocate reports. “The new law makes it a crime to store a gun in a locked car if it is not also put into a safe, locked in the glove box or stored in the car’s trunk.”

“We believe storing a gun in a car, even if it is locked, is not a prudent thing to do,” police Capt. Richard Conklin tells the Advocate. “A car is like a glass box. If you take out any of the windows, it is no longer locked.”

While police officers are arresting gun owners and confiscating their firearms over cases of theft, a look into the records of police departments in 29 states and the District of Columbia by the Trace found that between 2008 and 2017, police officers lost or had stolen 1,781 of their own firearms — often from their unlocked police cruisers.