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Stolen guns not a huge problem in Mid-Missouri

According to The Associated Press, gun thefts are up 70 percent in Saint Louis. Police believe this may be causing the recent spike in homicides, making it the most violent year the city has ever experienced.

Authorities say a lot of the stolen guns are taken from cars and then later used in various violent crimes.

Detective Tom O’Sullivan with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said the statistic doesn’t surprise him for Saint Louis. He said in Boone County deputies will occasionally find a gun used in a crime and learn that it was stolen, but said it’s not a huge issue for the county.

“It is incumbent upon gun owners to be responsible and properly secure their weapons,” he said. “We take a lot of larcenies from vehicles that involve cell phones, laptop computers, cash and those are valuable items, but many times when your gun is stolen it’s going to be used in the commission of another crime.”

In Cole County, Captain John Wheeler with the Sheriff’s Department said stolen guns used in crimes isn’t a big issue either.

However, both counties have noticed a recent increase in concealed carry permits, similar to Saint Louis.

As of July 2015, 686 people applied for a new conceal carry permit in Boone County. That number is already above the 664 new permits issued in 2014.

“I think in large measure, it’s a personal safety issue,” O’Sullivan said. “Some of these individuals operate businesses where they feel they could potentially be at risk for robbery, so it’s been a popular program here at the sheriff’s department.”

In Cole County, 1,094 new and renewed concealed carry permits were issued in 2014. So far in 2015, there have been 1,089 total issued permits.

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