As the holidays and gift-giving season approaches ATF agents have warned people of stolen guns on the market.
The number of confiscated stolen guns grew in Tennessee from more than 8,000 in 2015 to more than 10,000 in 2017. An increase in home thefts and business break ins has created an atmosphere where some of the guns may make their way into the hands of consumers, according to ATF spokesperson Michael Knight.
"Especially during the holiday season, [if] the public is purchasing firearms off the internet or through third party sales they may be unknowingly purchasing a stolen firearm," said Knight. "So, we would recommend that if you have any concern that that firearm is stolen, to go through a gun store, a federal firearm licensee. For a nominal fee, they'll run a background check to make sure that gun is not stolen."
There are a number of ways to keep from buying stolen property online. Knight suggested shoppers ask for an ID or a receipt to create a timeline for the transaction.
"Well, there's no national database that shows all of the firearms and their owners. So, once the firearm is purchased from a gun dealer it could end up changing hands several times," he said.
Once a stolen gun is purchase, having a record will keep the police from implicating you in any crimes. However, once it's sold, it will be difficult to get money back for the purchase, according to Knight.
Also, when traveling during the holidays make sure all guns are secured and burglars will not be able to reach any firearms.