The theft of a firearm in Florida is a third degree grand theft felony no matter the value of the weapon. That’s significant when taking into consideration that first degree petit theft, which is only a misdemeanor, is property valued between $100 and $299 and used firearms can sell for under $200.
Gun theft and burglary often go together—a gun stolen from a parked car, for example. If you steal a firearm from a vehicle or home, you would likely be facing grand theft and burglary charges. Unless the owner invites you to use their property by offering to loan you their car or inviting you into their home, you could be charged with both crimes.
Flooding the underground market
According to a recent article published by the Tampa Bay Times, firearms theft is on the rise across the country. Stolen firearms are often sold on the black market, increasing the pool of weapons easily available to those who cannot legally purchase a gun. The weapons are also frequently used in other crimes.
Unintentionally making the problem worse
News headlines are inundated with stories about pawn shop and gun store inventories raided in the middle of the night, but the largest source of stolen guns actually comes from firearms legally purchased for self defense by ordinary citizens. Just because a weapon may be easy to grab that doesn’t mean doing so isn’t a serious crime.
While the basis for most grand theft charges is the item value, it’s important to understand that firearms theft will result in a felony charge no matter the value of the weapon stolen.