Four charged with plotting gun store thefts in Illinois

Four charged with plotting gun store thefts in Illinois
AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar

Amid the debate over gun control, some of the statistics used to justify infringing on our rights include so-called gun homicides.

The problem with this is that many of these firearms weren’t sold through lawful channels. Gun stores aren’t generally selling firearms to just anyone who walks in off the streets, after all.


That’s not how it works.

Instead, one group of criminals steals guns and, in most cases, sells them to others illegally. Sure, they might keep some of themselves, but a lot of the guns used by criminals were, in fact, stolen.

And four people in Illinois were just busted for planning such a heist.

 4 people from Peoria were charged in federal court Monday with conspiring to steal firearms from six different Central Illinois licensed gun dealers between August 14-18.

The Department of Justice says Terrance Daniels, 23; Dezmond Hardy, 22; Erika Garner, 21; and Shaleik Ward, 19, are each charged with one count of conspiring to steal guns from a federal firearms licensee.

All four were arrested Friday.

According to the release, the complaint affidavit alleges that on August 14, officers were dispatched to an attempted burglary at Mean Metal, a gun dealer in Spring Valley and discovered a shattered glass window of the business.

There were also attempted break-ins at five other gun stores in the area, possibly by this same crew.

In this case, the thieves were unsuccessful. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that there is such a demand for illegal guns that someone else will step in and find a way to steal them and fill the void.

I’m glad this bunch was unsuccessful in their attempt. I hate gun thieves with a burning passion, and not just because they help give ammunition to the gun control crowd.

Gun stores are generally mom-and-pop operations that operate on fairly thin margins. Burglaries cut those thin margins even thinner as they need to then pay for repairs from the break-in and replace stolen inventory. While they’re often insured, that doesn’t just drop in your bank account the next day. It takes time, which puts some of these stores in a lurch until that comes in.


And then there is the fact that yes, these individuals then sell guns to criminals who use them in violent crime, thus driving up those numbers being committed with firearms, which in turn gets used to justify gun control that won’t actually impact the bad guys, just folks like you and me.

Combatting gun thieves should be one of the things we can all find common ground on. We should be able to sit down and start to think about how we can help prevent these thefts or what options we have to deal with people who steal firearms.

Instead, the anti-gunners would rather restrict our rights and ignore where the “crime guns” are coming from.

Gun stores get blamed and face additional scrutiny from the ATF, many seeing their licenses revoked due to paperwork errors, all while the bad guys are still doing what they’re doing with absolutely no one in the Biden administration giving a damn.

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