The debate about whether or not to place gun stickers or other firearm-related material on your vehicle is usually a split, between those that choose not to, and those that want to boldly use their First Amendment right. As Americans, we’re used to being able to say whatever we feel, but it’s usually directed towards a person or a group of people we’re talking with. When it comes to displaying gun stickers on our cars, trucks or vans (yes, you can admit to having a minivan to the internet), we don’t get to control who sees that, or what they might do when the opportunity presents itself.
The topic of whether or not to place gun stickers on your vehicle or home isn’t new. As it turns out, some criminals do know what to look for and have taken advantage of the absence of the owners to break in and look for guns. It only took me a half-hour to find most of the pictures you see in the article, and these were easily identifiable. The sleek new term, “slider crime,” has been rolled out to replace the literal phrase, “theft from vehicles”. It means that when someone leaves their car unlocked, a thief will “slide” into the car and take whatever they can get.
GUN STICKERS: RISKY USE OF THE 1ST AMENDMENT TO DECLARE YOUR LOVE OF THE 2ND?
Our first example on the topic of displaying firearm-related content on vehicles comes from Georgia, from this October. The incident took place at a gas station, where the would-be thieves broke the passenger window of the truck. Any intended theft was stopped when the perps saw the observant owner charging at them from the store. The police believe that the conservation license plate was what helped the bad guys single the truck out. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department has noticed an increase in theft from vehicles with firearms as the goal, with the belief that gun-related stickers or license plates are the indicators that a firearm could be present. Many times, they’re correct.
This particular event seemed to alarm law enforcement since most slider crimes typically involved simply opening an unlocked door. WSB-TV reported that as of September 2019, the Atlanta Police Department had covered around 69 slider crimes, with over 150 guns stolen. They also tallied the theft of more than $173,000 in cash.
Another example of gun thefts from vehicles baring firearm-related stickers comes from North Carolina, mid-2018. Officers had been taken a lot of reports of gun thefts from cars that had National Rifle Association stickers, hunting stickers, or stickers from firearm manufacturers. The quotes below are from the WBTV story.
Hyatt owns a local gun shop. These thefts are why he tells every one of his customers not to put gun-related decals on their rides.
“You might be letting people know you’re a gun owner but it might be the wrong people,” he says.
“They’re used to their rural lifestyle,” he says of visitors. “They got their NRA sticker on, they got their gun locked up in the truck, come out…their truck’s broken into, their gun’s gone.”
Source: The Firearm Blog