The following is a video transcript.
Independent Program Attorney: Texas LawShield Non-Emergency Line, this is Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor, how can I help you?
Member: Hey, um, thanks for taking my call. My name is John and my member number is XXXXXXXX.
Independent Program Attorney: Hi John, how can I help you today?
Member: So I read an article on [XXXX]BOOK about a guy who had his gun stolen out of his car. He called the police to report it and they came to take the report, but they ended up confiscating all of his guns and arresting him. Now’s he’s facing revocation of his handgun license.
Independent Program Attorney: mmm hmm.
Member: Well, I can’t figure out what he did wrong? Is this just a fake story?
Independent Program Attorney: John, I know the story behind that article, and I’m sorry to say that it’s real. There can be some pitfalls when reporting a lost or stolen gun. You may have inadvertently brought the gun into a place you weren’t allowed to possess it. You may have made it accessible to persons you shouldn’t have. Not to mention, there are jurisdictions where the law requires very specific handling of firearms. For example, laws that require reporting lost or stolen guns within a certain period of time and laws that specify how to store your gun in different situations. Even in places without those laws, depending upon the attitudes of local officials or even specific police personnel, gun owners are often treated with suspicion. So, when you call the police to report a firearm lost or stolen, the police may be investigating you at the same time they are taking your report.
Member: Wow, that seems really unfair. Are you saying that I shouldn’t report a stolen gun then?
Independent Program Attorney: Not at all. If you gun is ever lost or stolen, you absolutely should report it. As I said, in some jurisdictions, it’s a crime if you don’t report. But regardless of where you live, a lost or stolen gun can come back to haunt you.
Member: Interesting…why’s that?
Independent Program Attorney: Well, when a gun is recovered from a crime scene, law enforcement will trace it back to its owner. If that’s you, and you never reported the weapon lost or stolen, you’ll likely get an unexpected and unwelcome visit from the authorities.
Member: Ah, that makes sense. So what’s the best way to handle the situation if my gun is ever lost or stolen?
Independent Program Attorney: Well John, unlike in cases of self-defense, do NOT rush to call the police first. Your first call should be to your lawyer. They’ll be fully aware of the traps and tripwires you’ll likely face, and will give you crucial advice on how best to handle reporting the theft and – more importantly – how to be prepared to answer follow-up questions from law enforcement.
Member: So that I don’t accidentally say or do something that could get me in trouble…?
Independent Program Attorney: Exactly right.
Member: For sure.
Independent Program Attorney: John, in the many years I’ve been defending members of Texas LawShield, I have seen well-intentioned gun owners charged with a crime because they didn’t take the time to reach out to their attorney before talking to the authorities. Don’t let that happen to you.
From Texas LawShield President, Kirk Evans
Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen every single year with many of them turning up at grisly crime scenes. And when there’s no obvious culprit, the gun’s most recent owner quickly becomes a person of interest. If you’re ever the victim of gun theft, we want you protected. Which is exactly why we created Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage – so you can have the peace of mind knowing that you’ll have an Independent Program Attorney like Emily Taylor ready to jump to your defense when you need it.