If there’s one thing everyone should have an issue with, it’s stolen guns. For gun owners, stolen guns represent stolen property, a violation of someone’s privacy, and their property rights. Additionally, and for everyone else, they represent an influx of firearms onto the black market. That means guns in the hands of criminals.
Those are the same guns that are used in such a way that sparks anti-gunners screaming bloody murder for more regulations.
No, they don’t get the stupidity of that, but when have they ever?
Regardless, though, we should all be uniting against stolen guns. Which is why we should look at cases like this one.
A Sioux City man was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for breaking into a Sergeant Bluff home and stealing several firearms.
Moses Strickland Jr., 22, pleaded guilty in March in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to charges of conspiracy to possess a stolen firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a stolen firearm by a prohibited person.
Strickland was one of three charged with breaking into the house with an ax on Nov. 26, 2018, and taking five shotguns, two rifles and three handguns. The three later sold some of the guns to people in Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois.
Six years for 10 firearms.
Strickland got the worst of the sentence, with his cohorts getting 42 months and eight months respectively. He, however, is getting 7.2 months per firearm, which is a paltry amount of time for the theft of a firearm. It’s not nearly enough to cause someone like him to pause for a moment and reconsider whether or not the risk is worth the reward.
Instead, we should be looking at something like 20 years for him. And his buddies, to be perfectly frank.
The truth is, unless the penalties are downright terrifying, criminals simply won’t care. They know that someone like Strickland will likely be out of prison in just a couple of years anyway, so there’s nothing to fear from the kind of penalties usually associated with stolen firearms.
Yet, if guns represent any kind of an issue, it’s really stolen guns that are the problem. Law-abiding citizens represent no threat to anyone not directly threatening them, but criminals armed with black market guns are the ones committing all these violent crimes. Lawful gun sales represent a minute fraction of guns used in crimes. It’s not zero, but damn hear. Black market guns–mostly stolen guns–are a different matter.
The truth is, I personally think gun thieves should get two years per gun. Each stolen firearm should represent a separate charge with at least two years per charge. If that were the case, Strickland would have gotten at least 20 years, not a paltry six.
However, until you lower the boom on gun thieves, don’t expect the thefts to stop. Why would they? They can get good money by selling those guns to people who can’t buy them otherwise or they can use them as tools of their unlawful trade. Either way, until there is a real risk associated with stealing firearms, they’ll keep doing it.