ONLY ON 3: Hundreds of guns falling into the wrong hands - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: Hundreds of guns falling into the wrong hands

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Those who work some of the most violent crimes around Chattanooga say more guns are falling into the wrong hands.

Investigator Lauren Wenger works as a task force officer for The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Channel 3 couldn't show her face because of the work she does undercover.

She says many guns they come across are stolen right out of the rightful owner's own home.

“A lot of these firearms that are being used in the violent gun crimes that are seizing these guns from are from burglaries,” Wenger said.

642 illegal guns have been seized by Chattanooga Police as of November 30th. That's about the same compared to the same time last year.

After a gun has been stolen, many are given away or even sold which is how so many end up being used in violent crimes.

“The unfortunate thing is, a lot of these gun owners are not writing down these serial numbers,” she added.

It's a mistake that Wenger says legitimate gun owners often make; not having the proper documents for that just in case moment: If the gun is ever stolen.

“I'd recommend taking pictures, writing the serial number down and taking pictures of the actual item and storing them in a safe location,” she said.

After a case is prosecuted, serial numbers help investigators put the gun back into the right hands.

“If the rightful owner is out there and the gun can be traced by to its rightful owner, then the gun will be given back to its rightful legitimate owner,” Wenger said.

This important message doesn't just go with guns, it also goes along with the other valuable things you have in your home like your computer and televisions.

Wenger also recommends e-mailing those serial numbers and pictures to yourself so you'll know exactly where they are, should you need them.

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