Last week, Springfield Oregon police had a run in with a criminal. To no one’s surprise, the suspect is a felon and was illegally in possession of a firearm. One of the officers commented that people should photograph your inventory of firearms.
Lt Scott McKee actually said:
“Document your guns by serial number, photographing your inventory of firearms is always a good idea, and then obviously if one gets stolen to report it immediately,”
According to Lt. McKee, guns are a commodity in the criminal world. This is why it is imperative to secure your firearms. As a responsible firearm owner it is up to you to secure your weapons. However locking them up does not always work. So documenting your collection is important.
Let’s be honest, we spend a lot of money on our collections and they represent a significant investment. In some cases you may have invested in transferable machine guns or have rare firearms. Any and all firearms should be documented. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean you should photograph your guns and submit them to the police. Think of it like insurance. Have documentation of your collection will help if there is an issue.
Last December, I moved the bulk of my firearm collection to my parents’ house in Vegas. See the photo at the very top of this article. I moved my safe and over 50 guns. I have a separate rider with my homeowner’s insurance that covers my firearm collection. However the idea that I would be crossing the majority of the country with a large cache of firearms did give me cause for concern. What if someone stole my trailer? Or broke into my car and took any or all of my guns? I figured I better take a photograph so I know what I am moving and in case I need to file a police report I would have documentation to show what I had and what was missing, just in case. Thankfully the move went without incident and I have a cool photo of most of my guns. To go along with photos of your collection you should have an updated list of serial numbers. I keep a word document on Google Drive with a list of all the serial numbers for all my guns. That way I can access it from anywhere and it does not cost me anything other than the initial setup time. While I have not experienced losing a firearm, I believe that I have taken some positive steps that could help recover them. At least I have proof and can file a claim with my insurance company if someone does steal my guns.
Back when I worked at Gander Mountain, behind the gun counter, I personally experienced two separate instances where police came in with a list of serial numbers of stolen guns that were reported. What do you know? We had some of these stolen guns. They were sold to us by the suspect. We recovered the firearms and gave them to the police which were then returned to their rightful owner. If you have a decent collection that you value, then it is in your best interest to photograph your inventory of firearms.