Gun Theft Fuels Violence in America: Gun Owners Now Targets

ABC News investigation reveals 1.4 million guns were stolen or lost over five-year span.
2:30 | 01/25/13

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Transcript for Gun Theft Fuels Violence in America: Gun Owners Now Targets
All this week the debate heads continued over guns and violence in america, but amid the talks about background checks, magazine clips, there's one statistic you should know. A huge percentage of the guns out on the street are stolen. And hundreds of thousands of those turn out to be stolen from homes in your neighborhood. Abc's senior justice department correspondent pierre thomas decided to investigate. Reporter: You're looking at a new mexico walmart on christmas day, masked thieves stealing rifle after rifle. This is a robbery in progress in colorado. They're there for the guns. Watch as thieves in south carolina ram this stolen suv right through the front door of this gun store. Smash and grabs at gun stores happening across the country. Gun stores are the candy store for criminals. Nerl 25,000 guns are lost or stolen from gun dealersers. An estimated 230,000 guns annually are stolen in home burglaries and property crimes. Watch these thieves caught on type, breaking into a california home. Jackpot. They find a gun. Any burglar that finds a gun, that's the first thing they'll take. Reporter: Some estimates show half of american adults owning guns. And the crooks know it, breaking into homes for the hot commodity. Stolen guns like these recovered in an atf sing often flow into the hands of criminals, including convicted felons who are prohibited from buying or possessing firearms. Talk to any criminal, they can find a gun within an hour or two. If a gun is stolen and it's a cheaper price model, you can buy it for $50. Reporter: We saw evidence of the deadly pipeline during a recent trip to philadelphia. Gun arrests are made every single night. Reporter: In all, six people shot in the span of only a few hours. Nearly approximate,000 people were shot here last year. 3,500 guns recovered. Many of them stolen. This detective ran this gun and it came back stolen back in 2005. Really? So it's been on the street for seven years now. Reporter: With the debate raging, if some guns get harder to buy, authorities say it will be even more important for retailers to fortify their buildings and to gun orns at home, police say keep your guns out of public view and secure in a safe. Coming up here after a

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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