How One Crook Stole Guns From A Bass Pro Shops

The one thing both pro-gun and anti-gun forces agree in is that we don’t want firearms in the hands of criminals. Where we differ is that we understand no amount to gun law will keep a crook from getting his grubby little paws on firearms while they don’t seem to comprehend that fact.

Take the case of how one guy managed to steal several firearms from a Bass Pro Shops in Memphis, TN recently.

Authorities say a man hid inside Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid after the store closed and stole at least three guns earlier this month.

Security reviewed the surveillance video from the store and found footage of a man at the gun display holding a rifle. This was around 3:30 a.m., and authorities believe the man was hiding in the store when it closed for the night.

At 3:50 a.m., the video showed the man walking out of the store with a long backpack on his back with the stolen guns inside, according to a Memphis police incident report on the theft.

In the police report, authorities said inventory showed a Savage Arms Corp. MSR 15 rifle valued at $900, a Benelli 12-gauge shotgun valued at $1,700 and a Beretta rifle valued at $1,745 were missing.

Not terribly creative, but clearly effective.

Further, since this was two weeks ago, he’s apparently doing a pretty good job getting away with it, unfortunately.

If you live in the area and have any information at all, please contact the ATF at 1-800-283-4867 or Memphis CrimeStoppers at  901-528-2274.

In the meantime, however, it’s worth reminding the gun grabbers that no, tighter gun laws wouldn’t have prevented this from happening. He went through absolutely none of the legal means of securing a firearm, for crying out loud, so just how would tougher gun laws have made a difference? Oh, yeah, it wouldn’t have.

“But what about laws that require retailers to do certain things to better secure their inventory?” someone might ask, and it sounds sensible on the surface.

However, if you’ve been inside a Bass Pro Shops before, you can look and wonder just what could reasonably be done. I’m sure the Memphis store will start checking the bathrooms thoroughly and looking anywhere else someone might hide for the evening, but anything beyond that becomes incredibly burdensome. Taking all the firearms to a vault, only to bring them back out the next morning is the epitome of an unreasonable burden, and that’s assuming they even have a vault that can hold their entire inventory.

No, the problem here is most likely a problem that isn’t tied to firearms at all. No one steals what there isn’t a market for. I’m going to sound like I’m beating a dead horse here but look for the actual roots of violence in various communities–Memphis isn’t exactly considered a safe city, after all–and address those first. Not only will you reduce violence, but you’ll create a better environment for those who have been law-abiding but caught in the middle.

Then again, it’s a lot easier to blame the victims in cases like this rather than the criminal or his motivations.


Oct 18, 2021 4:30 PM ET