ATF agents say North and South Carolina lead the country with the number of weapons stolen from federally licensed firearm dealers. That's a trend that's been on the rise for the past year and a half.
Agents also say that most guns stolen in North or South Carolina stay in North or South Carolina. The big push now is prevention -- so criminals aren't the ones calling the shots.
"The worst possible thing for us is to think any of our guns would fall into the hands of criminals, illegally," explains Ken Sampson, co-owner at Greensboro Guns And Ammo.
He says his store has thankfully never been the target of a theft, but knows it's a big concern in the industry.
"Firearms that were stolen, taken through larceny, burglary or robbery. We led the country," explains Gerod King, ATF Public Information Officer for the Charlotte Field Division.
King says most guns that are stolen will be used in a crime. So agents work on prevention with police and shops.
"We make sure we have plenty of staff on hand," Sampson says. "They can kind of watch over the store"
They also monitor who goes into the store. People can't get in unless they ring the bell and an employee lets them in. There are also cameras watching your every move, going in and going out.
"As much as we hate to spend money on those types of systems, it's very important to us and we've been very proactive."
Police are working to do the same. Greensboro/Guilford County Gunstoppers launched about two weeks ago where people can call in anonymous tips for money.
"So far we've gotten a few tips in, but we'd like to get more," explains Stacey Finch, Crimestoppers Coordinator for Greensboro/Guilford County Crimestoppers.
3 tips have come in, so far. Finch said one was successful; a gun was recovered. Police are still working one the other two.
They want to stress tipsters remain anonymous.
"It is 100 percent safe," Finch adds.
Gunstoppers works like Crimestoppers and it's the same number, too (336-373-1000). The minimum amount of money you can earn through Gunstoppers is $250 - that's if your tip leads to evidence or an arrest.
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