What Happens When A Gun Goes Missing? Hopefully Not This…

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — The Courier Mail of Brisbane covered the conclusion of something all of us wondered, “what happens when a gun goes missing?”  In the case of an Australian police officer who lost his Glock while pursuing a suspect on foot, the answers are more than just a little unsettling.

According to the Courier Mail, Australian authorities discovered it had passed through the hands of four separate people before finally ending up in the hands of what the Aussies call a ‘bikie’.

For the uninitiated, a ‘bikie’ is an American 1%’er equivalent.  And for those who don’t know what a 1%’er is, we can only recommend reading Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels.

Now that the definition of ‘bikie’ is clear, this particular ‘bikie’ used that police-issued firearm to pull off an armed home invasion before authorities wrapped him up.  He’s since been charged with those crimes but that was after the fact.  It’s a stark reminder to concealed carriers of the unsavory truth that comes once a firearm has been negligently lost.  Who knows what hands it may fall into?

As an unrelated point, the Courier Mail never goes into exactly how the Queensland Police Service were able to secure that weapon so quickly.  All that was mentioned was that they “worked tirelessly around the clock.”  If that weapon was dropped on Wednesday, picked up and passed through four sets of hands before being taken from the hands of a criminal on Sunday – that’s a fast turnaround.  So, good on the Brisbane police officers that managed to follow this case to the end.

What To Do If Your Pistol Gets Lost Or Stolen

No one is immune from theft or complacency.  Obviously the extremes of a police officer pursuing a suspect on foot and most people’s daily activities are different.  But that doesn’t mean that we’re not just as susceptible.

Trace back through your steps to ensure you didn’t just misplace it.  If you remember a time when you knowingly had your firearm on you, you can set some markers for the times in between to ensure that it wasn’t just misplaced.

If a firearm is presumed lost due to theft or otherwise – it’s important to secure any documents associated with that weapon and notify the police.  In the Brisbane case, it only took four days for a violent crime to occur with that missing Glock.  And it went through the hands of five criminals.  It’s important to let the authorities know your firearm has gone missing and supply identifying information for it.

Unfortunately, if it is criminally forfeited – i.e. directly connected with an active criminal investigation – it may be difficult if not impossible to ever get it back.  If it is recovered and placed under civil forfeiture, you can follow the process and stand a decent shot of having it returned to its rightful owner.   For more information on that, you can check out our article on Civil Forfeiture here.

Focus On Prevention

A big concept concealed carriers understand is it’s easier to prevent something bad from taking place than try to recover it later on.  That’s why Situational Awareness is such a big part of our daily lives.  A good retention holster and periodically checking to make sure your weapon is secure are always safe bets.

What are some things you do to ensure your concealed carry firearm doesn’t get misplaced?  Tell us about it in the comments section below.

About James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is currently an advocate for veterans and constitutional carry in the State of New Hampshire. His daily carry is the Glock 19 Gen 4 in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0.