Robbery Leads to Questions of Gun Shop Security

Proposed new legislation would require gun shops to have alarm systems and video surveillance

By Shawna Hendrix
|  Monday, Mar 26, 2012  |  Updated 7:30 PM CDT
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Masked burglars on Jan. 15 smashed a sledgehammer into the glass door of Maxon Shooters Supplies & Indoor Range and stole nearly 200 firearms in less than a minute. They left before police arrived.

Masked burglars on Jan. 15 smashed a sledgehammer into the glass door of Maxon Shooters Supplies & Indoor Range and stole nearly 200 firearms in less than a minute. They left before police arrived.

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Residents are wondering whether loose security regulations could be to blame for a January burglary at a Des Plaines gun shop.

Masked burglars on Jan. 15 got into the Maxon Shooters Supplies & Indoor Range on Rand Road and made off with a cache of weapons.

"These individuals were able to get into the facility with a sledgehammer and stole 195 guns in one minute," explained Mayor Martin Moylen.

With roughly 2,500 firearms dealers statewide, citizens are starting to argue for stricter regulations on gun shop security at the state and federal levels.

Proposed legislation that would require gun shops to have alarm systems and video surveillance of all the doors and windows has been referred to the Illinois House Rules Committee.

Meanwhile, authorities are considering a connection between the Des Plaines sting and robberies at nearly a half-dozen other gun shops statewide, Special Agent Tom Ahern of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the paper. 

The Chicago Police Department’s gang investigations division is on the Des Plaines case, having since recovered some of the firearms from a South Side home. 

Five teens from Chicago and the South suburbs have been arrested, but only one teen, a 17-year-old from Dolton, has been formally charged. Some of the stolen weapons were recovered at a south side Chicago home.

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