Criminals cop stolen guns for crime

George ranks high for southeastern stolen guns. / WFXL File

Stolen guns are a problem across the nation but now we're finding out just how serious the issue is in the southeast.

Out of the seven states in the southeast, Georgia has the highest amount of reports for stolen guns.

This is problem because many times these weapons end up in the wrong hands.

Law officials say often times felons steal guns or get them on the street because they can't purchase one legally.

"Guns themselves are not dangerous it's the person that possess the gun and when the guns are on the street a lot of times they're in the hands of gang members and drug dealers," said Capt. Andy Exum, Albany Dougherty Drug Unit.

According to a study from the U.S. Department of Justice, Georgia had reports of 899 guns stolen in 2013. Alabama came in next with 882 guns reports of stolen guns.

Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards says guns are a hot commodity on the streets and can be traded for drugs or used in crimes.

"In terms of percentage I would say probably about 25 percent of those types of cases, that is the armed robberies, the drug cases, actually the percentage of stolen guns in drug cases is about 50 percent," said Greg Edwards, Dougherty County D.A.

Edwards says there's even an ongoing homicide case that involves a stolen gun.

Licensed gun owners are asked to secure their weapons and make sure they keep the serial number handy.

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