This article is not about the seven guns I would recommend; though I wish it were. Instead, this is about our local community and what you may not be aware of.

This article is not about the seven guns I would recommend; though I wish it were. Instead, this is about our local community and what you may not be aware of. 

While sipping coffee on Sunday I flipped through the local paper and found a ďsamplingĒ of the police blotter for last week in Wilmington. What struck me as frightening was that during a seven-day period, Thursday through Wednesday, seven guns, handguns and shotguns were stolen during residential break-ins in Wilmington alone. 

What does this tell me? It tells me that our laws are working. Criminals are not allowed to legally purchase guns; so therefore, they turn to the next step: theft. My only concern is that the five or so homes broken into didnít secure their firearms in such a way that they couldnít be easily stolen. We need to change our mindset. I donít care if you have kids or not; when you are away, your firearms need to be locked up. 

Every time a customer purchases a gun I give them a bit of free advice. I tell them to use their smart phone and to take a picture of the serial number and the firearm they just purchased. Email it to yourself, store it somewhere where it can be accessible by you if needed. North Carolina doesnít have a gun registry so only you and the place or person you bought it from knows the numbers. Donít be silly, take the 15 minutes or so and get it done TODAY. Lock up your guns. Buy a safe ó you can get a good floor safe for around $400 that cannot be carried away by one person. Make theft difficult! These firearms are yours; and you have invested time and in most cases a lot of money in them, donít be cheap now. 

What do you do if you discover your gun is missing? Call the local police immediately and file a report. Contact all local gun shops and pawn shops within 50 miles. Do not expect police to do this; oddly enough, they normally wonít. Contact your neighbors and local businesses since most break-ins are not a single offense unless itís personal. Check your phones for missed calls. It is very common for thieves to call you repetitively to learn your schedule over the course of up to two weeks before. 

Most stolen guns do not end up in the local area, but stay on top of your contact list because you may be one of the lucky ones. 

Good guys donít steal guns. Law abiding citizens donít steal guns. Be careful who you show your firearms to and donít think that just because they are ďniceĒ that they wonít be capable of theft. Some of the greatest criminals in the world sweet talk their victims. A gun is quick cash to a drug addict. 

You have taken on the responsibility of being a law abiding gun owner, now remember how great a responsibility that is. 

Remember knowledge is power and being prepared is the first step. 


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.