A MUST-DO if You Own a Firearm​

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

In previous articles, I have given instructions on proper handgun firing techniques and firing drills.

Well, this article focuses on a totally different — yet equally important — aspect of firearm safety.

Unfortunately, I woke up a few days ago and discovered my truck had been broken into during the night. The first thing I did was check for the Glock handgun I keep in my driver’s side left foot panel. It was gone.


Damage Control

If someone steals your firearm, here are a few things you need to remember…

First, try not to touch anything. Law enforcement will use DNA testing in these situations and you may get lucky. (Although I was informed that — given the “low threat” nature of my situation — this DNA report might take up to 24 months to be returned. Talk about disappointing.)

Next, contact local law enforcement immediately! Criminals are generally not that smart, so the sooner you notify the authorities to open an investigation, the better.

The third thing is a step you must take BEFORE your gun goes missing. Basically, if you own a firearm (or multiple firearms), YOU MUST DO THIS!

Point and Shoot

Take a picture of each of your firearms. Each picture should include the make, model and serial number. You also need to take a picture of the serial number on each firearm itself.

Here’s a perfect example:

Firearm make and model, serial number

Closeup of firearm serial number

That’s it. Easy, right?

The police officer who responded to my call told me, “I wish more people did this. If we recover your gun at a crime scene, we can immediately run the weapon through the stolen firearms database. This will not only clear you of any wrongdoing but help us return the firearm to the rightful owner.”

Because I had taken this precaution with my Glock, my (former) handgun was immediately placed in the stolen firearms database.

Like I said before, most criminals aren’t that bright. I’m hoping the idiot who robbed me will go to a pawn shop that has access to this database and get their ass arrested.

Maintaining Your Privacy

I understand there are many people who DON’T want the general population to know how many weapons they own, what makes or models they are and certainly not their serial numbers. I fully respect that.

This is not a problem.

After you’ve documented your firearms in photos as I showed in the examples above, do the following:

  1. Put the photos on a thumb drive and erase them from your camera or smartphone AND from any cloud storage program like iCloud or Dropbox.
  2. Print a hard copy of your photos and double-check you have erased them from ALL digital formats (except the thumb drive).
  3. Put the photos on an external hard drive that is not connected to any of your devices (camera, smartphone, laptop, desktop, etc.).

Right now I have a Glock “out on the streets” that could be used in the worst possible way. But taking this one simple step should reduce those chances — and hopefully see my weapon returned to me.

So please, take the time to do this with your firearms. One day, you might be glad you did.

Be a survivor… not a statistic,

Cade Courtley

Cade Courtley

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