Jake T. lives in Natick, Massachusetts.
One day, he called the police to report that he had lost his pistol.
Around midnight, he said he had accidentally left his pistol on the roof of his car and drove off.
The problem was that Jake thought he lost the pistol near an elementary school.
Natick police, along with Massachusetts State Police responded to the area to look for the pistol and state police brought a dog that was trained to sniff for guns.
Many officers spent hours searching the area around the elementary school to locate the gun, but they didn’t find the gun.
After failing to find the gun, the school sent an alert to parents about the gun. Local police also had several officers at the school the next morning and afternoon.
Officers wanted to be on hand in case someone located the gun.
Eventually, a state trooper found the gun on the side of the highway, but it was nowhere near the school.
It turns out that Jake was wrong about where he lost the gun. Yet, who can blame him since no one knew how long the gun stayed on the roof of his car?
It’s unclear how many firearms are lost each year in the U.S., as many go unreported. But it’s likely thousands of firearms are lost each year.
So, here are a few things you should do if you lose a firearm.
Obviously, immediately retrace your steps:
Once you realize you have lost your firearm there will likely be some panic. Of course, you want to find the gun as quickly as possible.
So, start by retracing your steps all the way.
Take the time to double-check everywhere you have gone. If you are with other people, ask them to help.
You want to find the gun as fast as possible, so it doesn’t get picked up by a child or criminal.
Report it to the police:
After you have looked everywhere and retraced your steps you should report it to the police if you can’t find it.
In fact, depending on where you live this could be a law.
They will ask you for a description of the gun including the serial number. Be prepared to give them all the information.
A serial number will also help them locate it if it’s been sold to a pawn shop.
Also, if you have the bill of sale and pictures of the gun you should provide this to the police.
When a gun goes missing there is a good chance that someone will find it and turn it into the police.
Call the gun shop:
If you purchased the gun from a gun shop, you should call and let them know that it was lost.
Federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to maintain records of gun sales until their business or licensed activity ends.
So, the gun shop will have an original record of the sale of the gun, and information on when it was manufactured and where they obtained it.
In a worst-case scenario, the gun could be traced back to the shop by police if it was used to commit a crime.
But if you have reported the gun lost to the police and to the gun shop you done your best to cover your bases.
The more documentation you have the more likely the gun will be returned to you if located.