MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Every day, more than 16,000 guns are stolen in America.
The top prosecutor in West Tennessee said the reason for the burglaries is a mixture of bold criminals and careless gun owners.
"Car burglaries are up, and the reason we believe is that people are seeking to break into cars to steal firearms because more people are carrying them that way," U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Michael Dunnavant said.
If you're a gun owner in Tennessee, you are legally allowed to keep a loaded firearm in your car, whether or not you have a carry permit. That frustrates Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings.
"More people are carrying guns, more guns are being stolen, officers are encountering more guns, but sometimes our hands are tied because the state legislature has extended the house to the car and that makes no sense," Rallings said.
He believes violent crime would go down if the law was changed.
In the meantime, Rallings said if you insist on keeping a gun in your car, make sure you know every detail about it.
"It's irresponsible to carry a gun in your car and not have a clue of the make, model, and serial number of that gun. So if that gun gets stolen. We can prosecute individuals that are in possession of stolen guns, but if you don't take the responsibility of recording the information of that gun, you make our job a lot harder," Rallings said.