by Max Brantley
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives naming Arkansas as the state with the highest number of stolen or lost firearms in 2015. The ATF reporting nearly 3,000 in Arkansas, more than Texas and Florida combined.The stat makes a certain amount of sense. Arkansas ranks third by this ranking in firearms per capita, behind Wyoming and D.C. with 41.6 per 1,000 people. That's more than triple the rate in Texas (12.8) and quadruple Florida (10.2).
"The liability is so high that we decided after 72 years we were not going to handle firearms anymore," Will Lulkey, owner of National Pawn Shop in North Little Rock, gave up his federal firearms license six months ago, he's hardly seen a stolen gun come through his store but says the new numbers make him even more assured about his decision.UPDATE: Thanks to Lance Turner at Arkansas Business for noting some further reporting on the subject in the Baxter Bulletin that suggests the Arkansas number may be skewed by some faulty reporting.
Kevin Moran, spokesman for the ATF in New Orleans, told The Baxter Bulletin that more than 98 percent of the missing firearm reports were from one dealer. He said agents found out about the missing guns after doing an inspection at the gun store.
Moran said he did not who the dealer was, or how close the dealer is to Mountain Home. He said, however, that the individual has surrendered his or her federal firearms license and no longer sells guns.
Moran said ATF agents went to the gun store and found thousands of guns missing from the store’s records. He said it’s possible the guns were sold legally, but the dealer did not record the transactions properly, and therefore the ATF must list the guns as missing.