Report: 80,000 guns stolen in Florida in last decade

More than 1,000 gun thefts reported in Jacksonville in 2015, 2016

(Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of guns are stolen each year across the country, and in Florida that particular crime is growing at an alarming rate, according to research by the Tampa Bay Times.

More than 80,000 guns have been stolen in Florida since 2007, the Times reported.

Driving home the point, six firearms were stolen from unlocked cars in St. Johns County on Saturday morning.

In Jacksonville alone, 1,046 firearms were stolen from unsecured cars in 2015 and 2016, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Car burglaries across the state are clearly driving the gun theft epidemic, but thieves are getting their hands on guns in other ways, as well. 

Gun stores have also become a popular target for burglaries, the Times found. Firearms stolen from businesses during burglaries have more than quadrupled over the past five years, according to federal data. 

Police have taken note that gun owners continue to leave large numbers of guns in glass display cases at night, which is when most burglaries occur, the Times reported.

Another reason for the jump in Florida gun thefts is the number of people carrying guns. 

According to the Times report, in 2007, 438,864 people carried guns in the Sunshine State. But today there are 1.7 million registered concealed permit holders. 

Experts advise gun owners to lock their cars every night or take their firearms into their homes, rather than leaving them in a vehicle. A portable safe for a vehicle can also be purchased for less than $50. 

It's also a good idea to keep a record of a gun's make, model and serial number, so if it is stolen, police will have that information. 

To tell if a purchased gun was stolen, check out the state's database.

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