BERLIN, Md.- In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama ordered a nation-wide report on information about lost and stolen guns. The results are now in, and it turns out the state of Maryland is one of the highest ranking when it comes to lost or stolen firearms from licensed dealers.
In fact, Maryland ranks third in the nation, with nearly a thousand firearms reported lost or stolen in 2012.
People we spoke with agree that keeping guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals is a top priority. Where they disagree is how to make that happen.
Bob Arthur said guns are flying off the shelves at his store, Shooters Supply in Berlin. He said issues with lost or stolen firearms from shops like his are rare.
"Most of those crimes are happening in the city," Arthur noted. "They've got big stores with lots of employees and are just not trained properly for the security that's necessary."
According to a Department of Justice report, Maryland comes in third, behind Pennsylvania and Texas, for lost or stolen guns from Federal Firearms Licensees.
Arthur said he takes measures to keep his store from becoming part of the statistic.
Some say laws need to be tougher and more needs to be done.
"Involvement is probably the key word," remarked Irina Masinovsky of Salisbury. "The police, the law should be more engaged in perhaps preventive measures rather than reactive measures."
"It's hard to, after you arrest the criminal, a lot of times they already sold the guns, and once they do that, it's really hard to find the guns that is out there," added Kevin Smith.
But others say new laws are not the answer.
"I think it's going to hinder people's ability to defend themselves, if anything," said Jason Siler of Snow Hill. "Bad people do bad things, regardless of what laws say."
"It's already illegal to break into a store," said Arthur. "It's illegal to kill somebody, take their weapons. It's illegal to break into somebody's house and do home invasions. New laws aren't going to help that. You have to enforce the ones that are currently in place and prosecute the people that are doing these things."
Maryland will soon have some of the nation's tightest gun laws, which take effect October 1st.
Part of the state's new gun laws will require mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.
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