At least one Missouri lawmaker thinks it should be a crime not to report a stolen gun. He has introduced a bill to do just that.
“If you can’t keep track of it you’re not doing a very good job being responsible with it,” said Brandon Lawson.
Gun owners Brandon Lawson and Luke Callaway are from Pleasant Hope, Missouri. They say a new proposal to hold gun owners more responsible is something they support.
“I feel like that’s a pretty good law. Just so my gun doesn’t get in the wrong hands, and keeps me out of trouble,” said Lawson. “If somebody has my gun, recorded in my name, and goes to shoot a bunch of people I’m the first suspect.”
House Bill 185, if passed, will give gun owners three days to report a lost or stolen firearm. If not, fines range from 100 dollars for a first offense, to $1,000 for a second. It could lead to a misdemeanor conviction, even jail time for repeat offenders.
“Not only is it going to help law enforcement but it’s going to keep you out of trouble, eliminate you from the process,” said Hocklander.
Gun owner Chan Hocklander also says the proposal is a good idea.
“I know a lot of guys who have had guns stolen and usually if it’s a personal item they always report it to the police department,” said Hocklander. “The only time I can see somebody not reporting it is when they were in possession of it illegally to begin with. We have no way of knowing it belongs to that person without having that supporting document of the serial numbers or proof of ownership.”
Corporal Cathy Ussery with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office says it’s important to keep track of your valuables, especially serial numbers when it comes to firearms.
“To make sure that somewhere they have it documented, whether it’s a photo of the item, serial numbers written down or if they’ve put something identifiable on the items itself,” said Cpl. Ussery.
The bill was introduced by first term State Representative Bruce Franks from the City of St. Louis. His assistant tells KSPR the goal is to make sure firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Gun owners like Hocklander say it could be something more.
“I do think it’s kind of a step to put some more boundaries and make certain people feel better and what not that way we still have our guns,” said Ussery. “But there are some boundaries in place so it equals things out. You got to have a lot of responsibility to own a gun.”
By Matt Buhrman | KSPR News