Officials come together to address concerns over stolen weapons in our area

“Leaving your firearm unsecure in your vehicle is not just negligence, it’s an open invitation to chaos,” said US Attorney Jaime Esparza.

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Police Department says more than 2,400 guns were stolen by criminals from vehicles in 2023 in San Antonio, and those guns are sometimes used to commit other crimes in our area.

So Wednesday, city and county leaders addressed those concerns alongside the U.S. Department of Justice.

The press conference is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice, District Attorney Joe Gonzales, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and SAPD Chief William McManus.

“Leaving your firearm unsecure in your vehicle is not just negligence, it’s an open invitation to chaos,” said US Attorney Jaime Esparza. “Think about it, the gun that was intended to protect yourself and your loved ones could end up in the wrong hands, wielded by somebody driven by desperation, fueled by rage, or blinded by ignorance.”

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Officials say there is increase of gun thefts being seen in our area, as well as lots of improperly securing firearms, especially in vehicles.

“Your personal firearm could easily become a tool of a robbery or the trigger of a hate crime,” said Esparza.  “It could steal the life of an innocent child, or the life of one of the many brave officers sworn to protect us.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, a partnership was announced with the non-profit COPS / Metro Alliance to purchase and give out 2,000 gun safes at no cost. Those gun safes would be installed in the consule of a vehicle in a way that cannot be removed. According to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, the funding to purchase the safes had been identified by SAPD.

“True responsible gun ownership is a 24-hour endeavor,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar. “It doesn’t do you any good to only know where that gun is when you’re awake. Most of our violent crimes here locally were driven by guns that were stolen from a vehicle at some point.”

Officials all stresses the importance of making sure that your weapon has been secured at all times.

“Detectives are seeing car break-ins throughout the city, especially in hotel parking lots where tourists leave their guns overnight,” said SAPD Chief McManus. “Be a responsible gun owner and take your gun with you or lock it in a safe.”

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