EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Police Department is providing some tips for gun owners to properly secure their firearms and avoid theft.

According to LCPD, they recorded 169 reports of stolen firearms last year and 89 of these incidents were reported to be firearms illegally taken from cars. In some of the reports, multiple firearms were stolen during the incident. A case from August 2022 saw 26 firearms stolen during one non-residential burglary.

So far into 2023, there has been a total of 49 reports of stolen firearms.

LCPD also wants gun owners to be aware that House Bill 9, the gun safety storage bill, was recently signed into law by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The new law makes it a misdemeanor to allow a firearm to be accessible to a minor who brandishes or uses it to threaten someone. The law makes it a felony to allow a firearm to be accessible to a minor who uses it to cause great bodily harm or death. The new law goes into effect in June.

LCPD has provided the following tips to keep firearms from being stolen:

  • Consider utilizing a safe or lockbox, suitable for your home or vehicle, to secure firearms.
  • Consider investing in a smart residential security system that has motion-activated cameras and sends notifications via cell phone.
  • Keep firearms in a safe and secure area when hosting gatherings or leaving your home.
  • Remove firearms, ammunition, extra magazines and accessories when leaving your vehicle unattended.
  • Remove firearms and accessories before loaning a vehicle or leaving it at a repair shop.
  • Store the serial or identification number of each firearm in a secure location.
  • Save receipts for purchased firearms and gun accessories.
  • Unless specifically licensed to do so, do not carry firearms onto properties and grounds that prohibit them. Federal installations, schools and college campus’ prohibit firearms on their properties.
  • Avoid decals or window stickers that identify yourself as a gun owner. Someone looking to steal a firearm may see that as an advertisement for what is inside.
  • Do not post photos of the firearms you own on social media or otherwise brag about what you have. Doing so let others know what may be inside your home or vehicle.
  • Do not leave firearms within reach of children and passengers.
  • Avoid leaving rifles and long guns in an unsecure manner that could move, or become entangled, during transportation.

Call police immediately at (575) 526-0795 to report a stolen firearm, magazine or ammunition.