Photos courtesy of Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
We hear a lot these days about how new gun-control laws will supposedly stop firearms from getting into the wrong hands. There are so many hazy ideas afloat in the political spectrum being presented as “solutions” to the problem of criminals getting guns. We’ve heard many suggestions about how the federal government and new regulations will make a dent in stopping bad guys from getting and using firearms; the many proposals we’ve heard include possible new gun laws that do nothing but complicate matters for responsible law-abiding gun owners, and even about mythical solutions like “smart” guns (thanks, Biden).
What few people seem to notice amid all of this hypothesizing is the very real existence of hardened criminals prepared to go to great lengths to steal guns and sell them to other criminals. Changing the laws isn’t going to stop people who already break them. Trying to create a “new perfect system” to regulate firearms is not going to stop criminals who already think and operate outside our existing legal system.
This month, for example, a 30-year-old man—known as the Loomis Gun Store Crash and Grab Robber—was sentenced to five years and 11 months in prison after pleading guilty to theft of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer and being a felon in possession of a firearm. His forceful intent to steal firearms literally brought the roof down on a gun shop in Loomis, Calif., according to court documents. He stole a massive flatbed truck from his employer and used it as a battering ram to literally smash two huge holes in the sides of a local gun store. After ramming the building twice, he made off with a stash of at least five stolen firearms including an AR-style rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. He ditched the truck and disappeared.
Ten guesses about what that thief did with the loot. Did he keep the stolen guns quietly at home? No. The thief decided to make money by hawking the firearms to another criminal. He went to the residence of a 62-year-old convicted felon for this transaction and sold no less than four firearms to the convict—for $1,000 and at least 35 grams of methamphetamine.
Police arrested the thief after a deputy noticed gunshots and muzzle flashes coming from a car he was driving. The thief crashed his car during a vehicle pursuit and was taken into custody. He had previously been convicted of five felonies—including illegally possessing an assault weapon. At the time he robbed the gun store, a warrant was already out for his arrest because he had removed his ankle monitor while being on community supervision. Detectives recovered a firearm from his backpack and other evidence from the gun store in his possession.
A search warrant was served on the elder convict’s residence. The Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew W. Scott told America’s 1st Freedom that the residence was previously known to law enforcement as a site of drug dealing. The search of the home turned up some disturbing results—not only did officers discover four of the firearms stolen from the gun store, but also a stun gun and body armor. What purpose those items were intended for remains unknown.
The 62-year-old convict was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. All the stolen firearms from the gun store were successfully recovered by police.
There are two morals to this story. The first is that reconfigured gun laws and background checks will have no effect on stopping criminals from stealing and illegally selling firearms than our existing laws they already break. The second is that we must trust and provide encouragement to members of our law enforcement—whose mission it is to stop criminals and prevent gun crime. The police and federal authorities do an outstanding job of keeping us safe from criminals. It is our duty as citizens to cooperate with them and provide them with increased support.
Sadly, a growing atmosphere of “gun phobia” has resulted in discrimination against our law-enforcement officers in recent times. Vendors, including stores and restaurants, have mistreated and ostracized police officers who work so hard to protect our society, even shunning police officers merely for carrying firearms.
What ultimately stopped the criminals in Loomis, Calif., from placing the stolen firearms into the hands of other criminals and being able to potentially carry out future violent crimes were the police. At a time when mistrust and misguided fear of firearms is so rampant in our society, we must place greater confidence in our police and security services—not treating them with suspicion, but giving them our total faith and support.
No new gun-control laws are needed to prevent gun crimes in our country. What is needed in America right now is increased support for our existing laws and for our law- enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to uphold them.