32,000 guns stolen in Houston over the past five years; 7 percent recovered.

Image: Walter G. Arce/Flickr The stolen guns contribute to violent…

Houston, Texas
Image: Walter G. Arce/Flickr

The stolen guns contribute to violent crime and have been used in at least 19 area murders — and likely more, although records are incomplete, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“They could be still out on the street. They could be in criminals’ hands. They just haven’t been recovered. In other words, not all criminals will throw a gun down after they committed a crime and run off,” said Franceska Perot, a spokeswoman for the Houston field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

“Houston is so close to Mexico, we do have guns that go to Mexico. So there could be people stealing guns and taking them across the border,” she said.

The serial numbers of stolen guns are entered into the National Crime Information Center, a computerized index of criminal histories, fugitives, stolen property and missing persons. The database is accessible to law enforcement agencies nationwide. The FBI says it includes more than 2.9 million guns, nearly 320,000 of them from Texas.

Source: The Associated Press via The Eagle.

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