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After Spike in Stolen Guns, Hartford Asks Gun Owners to Store Weapons Safely

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Concerned by a spike in stolen guns in the city of Hartford, police are reaching out to legal gun owners in the capital city and asking them to take better care of their weapons.

Last year, 17 guns were stolen in the city. This year, 17 guns were stolen by the time 2016 hit August. And just last week, three more guns were reportedly stolen from the home of a man who had recently died.

"We've seen a large increase in the amount of stolen guns out of the city of Hartford this year, be it both in homes and in cars," said Brian Foley, the city's deputy police chief. "We felt it was a good time to reach out to our residents that are permit holders and just remind them of some of the things that we expect to be responsible gun owners here in the city."

This week, Hartford's registered gun owners will get a letter in the mail reminding them not leave guns in their cars and to secure their guns in safes or cabinets at home. Residents with permits can also go to the police station to get free gun locks. Foley said he knows there's a lot of politics around the gun issue. But, for him, it's about people.

"The 10-year-old girl that was shot in the face on Branford Street a couple of weeks ago -- that gun that was used to shoot her was stolen from a burglary in Glastonbury," he said. "Now, that gun owner there -- when they bought the gun, never intended for that to be used to shoot a 10-year-old innocent girl. But that's the reality of what happened."

Foley also invited residents statewide to participate in a Hartford gun buyback on December 17.

Copyright 2016 Connecticut Public

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director.