RAY BROOK - The New York State Police Troop B Gun Investigation Unit reports 87 guns stolen in Northern New York during 2013.
The majority of these guns were stolen from private residences with a small quantity stolen from motor vehicles during hunting season.
Although still a concern for police, this total actually represents a 38 percent decrease from 2012 when 141 guns were reported stolen.
The theft of firearms is a significant concern for law enforcement and for the general public, according to a release issued by the state police.
Along with the total amount of guns stolen, police are concerned about the inaccurate descriptions and lack of serial numbers for most long guns reported stolen.
In 2013, 52 percent of the long guns reported stolen did not include an accurate description or serial number.
Although this is a significant improvement from years past, the lack of accurate identification of these guns causes considerable obstacles for law enforcement agencies when investigating these thefts and readily identifying stolen guns when they are recovered.
As a result, the state police are encouraging gun owners to protect their gun collections and to maintain an accurate and reliable inventory of their firearms. This includes recording the make, model, caliber and serial number of every gun in their possession and immediately providing this information to police should any gun be lost or stolen.
For this reason, a gun inventory record should be stored in a secure location separate from the firearms.
The New York State Police works closely with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and recommends using a form distributed by ATF called a Personal Firearms Record to inventory your gun collection.
This form can be found on-line at www.atf.gov(ATF Publication 3312.8) or at the following link:https://www.atf.gov/sites/default/files/assets/pdf-files/atf-p-3312-8.pdf
You can also contact the New York State Police Gun Investigation Unit at telephone number 518-897-2093 to request a free copy of the form or to report any suspicious gun activity.
Below is a breakdown of the 2013 gun thefts by county:
■ St. Lawrence County – 49 stolen guns (13 handguns, 36 long guns)
■ Franklin County– 27 stolen guns (9 handguns, 18 long guns)
■ Clinton County– 7 stolen guns (4 handguns, 3 long guns)
■ Essex County– 4 stolen guns (3 handguns, 1 long gun)
■ Hamilton County– 0 stolen guns