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Letter: Keeping guns locked up can prevent theft, crime

Keeping guns locked up can prevent theft, crime

A recent letter proclaims that legally owned firearms are seldom used in criminal activity. That’s not necessarily true.

The fact of the matter is that the known data is insufficient to verify because only a small percentage of guns used in crime are ever recovered. Studies show that of guns recovered, about 11 percent are purchased legally, 37 percent are legally obtained from a friend or family and 40 percent are obtained illegally (black market or stolen).

What is often overlooked is the number of legal guns that are used in the more than 33,000 annual gun deaths. Four out of five gun deaths under the age of 15 occur in a home with legal, unsecured guns. More than 75 percent of guns used in suicide, suicide attempts and unintentional injuries of those under 19 were found in the home of the victim, a relative or a friend.

Statistics show that about 230,000 guns are stolen annually from residences. Nearly one-third of all violent crime is committed with guns stolen from homes.

Although Buffalo has a law requiring safe storage of guns when not in use, it is seldom, if ever, enforced. A common-sense solution to some gun violence is to keep guns locked up, to prevent access by children and to prevent theft.

Paul McQuillen

Upstate Coordinator

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence