The following is a video transcript.
You always think: “It won’t happen to me.” But, when you go out to your car one night and see that the window was broken, or you come home from a weekend trip and find that your home has been ransacked… that’s when reality kicks in. They stole your firearms. So, what happens next? Do you have to report this to law enforcement?
REPORT A LOST OR STOLEN FIREARM
Texas law does not require that you report a gun lost or stolen, and the law here does not make a distinction between a lost or stolen firearm. While “failure to report” is not a criminal offense, generally you will not be held criminally liable for any offenses committed with a firearm that was stolen from you. But if you never reported the firearm stolen, you may start out as a suspect in a criminal investigation and have to jump through some extra hoops to show you were not involved.
Before we move on, we have an important note: From time to time, a lost or stolen firearm is taken by a minor child, and making a firearm accessible to a child is a crime in Texas. That’s why it never hurts to speak to an attorney before reporting a lost or stolen gun.
In civil court, the same general rule applies. Though you’re not civilly liable for any injuries another person sustains from a firearm that was lost or stolen from you, in Texas, anybody could sue anybody for their injuries. You may have to prove that the gun was stolen or that you were not reckless or negligent in storing the firearm, and defending yourself in civil court can be very expensive.
This is another reason why good record keeping can protect you as a gun owner. It’s a good idea to keep a record of the serial number of your firearm as well as any other identifying marks or details. The serial number is the first thing the police will ask for if your gun is ever lost or stolen, in order for them to enter the firearm into the stolen guns database. Good record keeping ensures that if your gun is stolen, it will hopefully be returned to the rightful owner.
If you have any questions regarding what you should do in the event that you lose or have your firearm stolen, or any other firearm’s laws related questions, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
VITAL IDENTITY THEFT COVERAGE
A gun is stolen from a responsibly armed American like you every 52 seconds. Stay one step ahead of the legal nightmare you’ll face if someone commits a crime with your stolen firearms. Call or log in to your member portal today to add Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage to your U.S. LawShield membership.