These "good guns, gone bad" too often turn up later, sometimes many years later, at crime scenes, including homicides. In New York City in 2016, a well-known and well-liked police officer in the Bronx, Miosotis Familia, 48, was gunned down as she sat in a mobile command post. Assassinated is how fellow officers described the killing of this mother of three. The crime was carried out by an ex-con with a history of police run-ins and mental issues who used a revolver that had been stolen in West Virginia four years prior.
Earlier that same year, a UPS driver in San Francisco shot and killed three co-workers and injured two others using a gun that had been stolen in Utah. In Atlanta, a thief got into a home to steal an AK-47-style rifle from under a mattress. The next year the weapon was used by a an ex-con to fire a hail of bullets on a car at a gas station, wounding two men. Later that year, the same felon used the rifle to fatally shoot his girlfriend’s neighbor.
It's a pattern that law enforcement officers say they see all too often. Guns get stolen from homes and cars from law-abiding citizens, only to be sold on the black market in the streets to people who either don't want to go through a background check, or couldn't pass one. Justice Department data shows that stolen guns often make their way into those states or cities where laws on background checks or registrations are more stringent, creating a black market for guns that are now "off the books" or "lost" in the system.
Kevin Arnett with the Toledo office of ATF says the market for stolen guns is always hot for those want a gun without going through an ID check.
"(For) anyone who would like to possess a firearms but who is prohibited from possessing one, getting a stolen firearm is their market," he says. Arnett says the problem in the Toledo area is no different that the rest of the nation. "There's always going to be a market for stolen firearms unfortunately," he says.