A gun store in Bellvue, Washington is just the latest victim of a “smash and grab” robbery, the kind that is occurring at gun stores all over the country. In this case, it was the second such robbery to take place at West Coast Armory.
Police say a stolen car was used by burglars to ram into a Bellevue gun shop and shooting range.
The burglary happened at West Coast Armory at 13216 Southeast 32nd Street at about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers say multiple firearms were taken and the stolen car was left at the scene.
A similar theft took place in 2016. In that case, guns and ammunition were stolen and the vehicle was left at the scene, much like this one.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the two events are related in any way other than coincidence.
That said, it’s a prime example of how gun stores need to step up and start figuring out a way to secure their firearms from theft before state and local governments start deciding how they should do it.
While insurance probably covers the theft just fine, it does nothing about the fact that there are firearms on the streets and in the hands of criminals. Unfortunately, that does nothing to mitigate the potentially impending regulation from the government that will happen unless things change.
So what needs to happen?
Having never owned or operated a gun store, I can’t say definitively how the insurance required works, but it seems a great first place to start would be for insurance companies to offer discounts for companies that utilize some means of securing firearms after-hours. Whether it’s locking the guns up in a safe or securing them on the racks somehow, having some means to secure the guns keeps them safe from theft.
Once the word goes out that the guns are secured, the chances of being broken into are reduced.
After all, no one is breaking into these stores for the cash in the safe or other merchandise. They want the guns.
If they can’t get the guns quickly, it makes the idea of trying to steal them unpalatable and they’ll be forced to find other means of securing their guns.
The best part about this is that it’s a free market solution, no government involvement required.
Peer pressure is a thing, and despite what they told us in high school, it can be a good thing.
If gun stores, in general, begin instituting lock-up procedures as part of the industry’s best practices–whether formally recognized as such or not–then others will follow suit. They’ll find out that it can be done fairly easily or inexpensively or whatever, and, so long as it’s not ruinous to their business, embrace the new procedures.
Such practices would also invite innovation as stores try new things to maximize effectiveness while minimizing cost. It becomes a win/win for everyone and, again, it doesn’t require the government to get involved.
These are just two possible solutions to the problem and make no mistake, it is a problem. None involve government meddling and thus don’t violate the Second Amendment.
However, if we want to keep the fingers of government out of this, we need to step up and remove the reasons for them to even consider it. We need to show them we can police ourselves just fine.