With rioting going on all over the nation, an alarming number of gun stores have been hit during the riots. Some appeared to have been the work of thieves merely using the riots as a distraction. After all, the police were pretty busy otherwise. That’s going to bog down response times, even if they know a break-in is taking place. If they don’t? Well, that just gravy for thieves.
However, in Santa Monica, California, a gun store wasn’t so much robbed as looted.
Authorities are looking for a group of burglars who broke into a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Santa Monica during the looting that took place during the George Floyd protests last week, and made off with more than two-dozen guns.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Monday released details of the May 31 break-in which occurred at about 8 p.m. at the store located at 3121 Wilshire Blvd.
The suspects used a sledgehammer and bolt cutters to get inside, and then stole 29 weapons.
They fled in a white four-door BMW sedan. The exact number of suspects and their descriptions were not confirmed.
Surveillance photos have been released.
The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation – a trade association for gun retailers — are offering a combined $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.
On the afternoon of Sunday, May 31, peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd degenerated into chaos when looters descended on the city, ransacking and vandalizing businesses and setting nine fires. The Third Street Promenade was especially hard hit.
Honestly, officials are fortunate that only 29 firearms were stolen. After all, with the rioting and looting, many more could have been taken and used for whatever nefarious purposes the looters wanted.
While the report didn’t say, it’s believed the looters failed to fill out a Form 4473 and none waited the mandated 10-day waiting period nor obtained the Firearm Safety Certificate.
I know. I know. Absolute anarchy. You’re just hard-pressed to find law-abiding looters these days.
Seriously, though, this is awful. Those 29 guns are in the hands of people more than willing to commit violence. After all, looting is a violent act. How many people will be hurt by the criminals who end up with those guns?
The truth is, none of us will know for certain. What we do know, however, is that every crime committed, every person hurt with those guns will be used to justify still more gun control in California, even though those guns weren’t legally obtained.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s just how California rolls when it comes to gun laws. Good people will get hurt because they couldn’t get a gun in time, meanwhile, criminals continue to steal guns, even looting them when protests turn into riots. It’s absolutely insane, yet we’ve seen it play out this way time and time again.
What worries me, though, is that these are looters who appeared to be prepared for the riots and to hit a gun store. That suggests they planned on doing it the whole time, perhaps even being part of the effort to instigate a riot. Are these guns going to Antifa? Who knows for sure. What I do know is that no answer is pleasant.