In one recent Sammamish burglary, four guns were stolen from a home. In a second, a pair of guns were stolen from a closet and may be in the hands of a child. In a third, a pair of shotguns were stolen from a home-office. Is the Sammamish Police Department frustrated that these guns are loose on the street?
"Oh, absolutely," Sammamish Police Administrative Sergeant Jessica Sullivan said. "Often times these guns end up being used in other crimes."
Sergeant Sullivan said that unfortunately stolen guns can be extremely difficult to track down. They rarely if ever end up in pawn shops and often change hands several times as they are bartered for cash or drugs.
"There's obviously a very active market for firearms," Sergeant Sullivan said.
Sergeant Sullivan said that the first step in keeping firearms off the street is to properly secure your home when away. Lock your doors, close your garage, set your alarm, Sergeant Sullivan said.
If you own a firearm, Sergeant Sullivan recommends keeping it secured in a gun safe. She understands that many people buy guns for home protection and want to be able to get to them quick in an emergency and recommends purchasing a gun safe with a fingerprint lock. These safes can be opened quickly and with minimal hassle in a stressful situation, Sergeant Sullivan said.
For those who cannot afford a gun safe, or for whom a safe is somehwat impractical, Sergeant Sullivan recommends a locking case.
Sergeant Sulllivan also said that trigger locks are a viable option. Those interested can actually pick a trigger lock up for free at the .
Another tip Sergant Sullivan has that could help in recovering a stolen firearm is to make sure you have a gun's serial numbers recorded somewhere, preferably away from where the gun is kept so that those records aren't stolen at the same time.
And what if you happen to find a gun or ammunition, say when cleaning out a recently deceased relative's belongings?
Sullivan said that residents can contact the police and have them pick up any weapons or ammunition that are found and process them for destruction.
"They're welcome to give us a call," Sergeant Sullivan said.