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Las Cruces Police record 169 stolen firearms

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) - The Las Cruces Police Department recorded 169 reports of stolen firearms over the past year, with over half of these incidents indicating that the weapons were illegally taken from vehicles. This is prompting the police to remind gun owners to properly secure their firearms and avoid leaving them unattended in homes and vehicles.

Of the 169 incidents, 89 reports were of firearms taken from vehicles. Multiple firearms were stolen during some of the incidents, with one non-residential burglary in August seeing 26 firearms stolen.

The LCPD is reminding gun owners that stolen firearms are often used in criminal activity. With 49 reports of stolen firearms already in 2023, the police are urging gun owners to take precautions.

The LCPD is advising gun owners to consider using a safe or lockbox suitable for their home or vehicle to secure firearms. They should also invest in a smart residential security system with motion-activated cameras that send notifications via cell phones.

The police advise that when hosting gatherings or leaving homes, firearms should be kept in a safe and secure area. When leaving a vehicle unattended, firearms, ammunition, extra magazines, and accessories should be removed. Firearms and accessories should also be removed before loaning a vehicle or leaving it at a repair shop.

The police are also advising gun owners to store the serial or identification number of each firearm in a secure location, save receipts for purchased firearms and gun accessories, and avoid carrying firearms onto properties and grounds that prohibit them. Federal installations, schools, and college campuses prohibit firearms on their properties.

Gun owners should also avoid decals or window stickers identifying them as gun owners. The police advise against posting photos of firearms on social media or bragging about them, as this lets others know what may be inside a home or vehicle.

Gun owners should not leave firearms within reach of children and passengers and should avoid leaving rifles and long guns in an unsecured manner that could move or become entangled during transportation.

The LCPD is also reminding gun owners to call the police immediately at (575) 526-0795 to report a stolen firearm, magazine, or ammunition.

It's important to note that House Bill 9, the gun safety storage bill, was recently signed into law by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The new law makes it a misdemeanor to allow a firearm to be accessible to a minor who brandishes or uses it to threaten someone. The law makes it a felony to allow a firearm to be accessible to a minor who uses it to cause great bodily harm or death. The new law goes into effect in June.

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