Gun store burglary worries police By Greg Gelpi| Staff Writer Saturday, October 13, Eight guns, including an AR-15 assault rifle, were stolen Thursday night from Shooters, an Augusta gun dealer and shooting range. "It makes anybody in law enforcement a little nervous," said Sgt. Ken Eskew, a Richmond County sheriff's investigator. Stolen guns make deputies particularly worried, he said. "We don't worry as much about all those that are bought with a federal firearm license," Sgt. Eskew said. He said stolen guns usually end up in the wrong hands. Armed robberies, for instance, often involve stolen guns, he said. An anonymous caller alerted deputies to an alarm going off at Shooters and a silver truck in its parking lot. When officers arrived, the truck was gone along with a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Colt AR-15 .223 caliber assault rifle, a Calico Liberty 9 mm rifle and four Glock handguns. A Taurus .357 revolver was dropped at the scene. Shooters is on Patriots Way, about 600 feet from Westside High School, close enough that Principal Tim Spivey said you can hear the "pop pop" from the firing range. It's a concern that the firearm thefts occurred so close to his school, but he said the business has always been a "good neighbor." Thefts account for about a quarter of all firearm trafficking, said Special Agent Marc Jackson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Atlanta Field Division. Trafficking refers to firearms that are intentionally "diverted" to the black market. Of the trafficked firearms recovered by the ATF and documented in a 2000 report, 17.4 percent were involved in homicides, 25.2 percent were involved in assaults and 16.5 were involved in robberies. Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or [email protected].