Disappointed about stolen police guns, senator challenges us to find gun in his car

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL ) – Sen. Jon Lundberg (R), TN-District 4, said he’s “surprised” and “disappointed” by the failure of some local and state law enforcement officers to secure their weapons.

“It’s frankly just a good reminder for folks,” the handgun carry permit holder, retired Navy reservist and Senate Judiciary Committee member said. “I’m surprised. Disappointed. Disappointed, whether it was a personal decision that was made by the officer or officers that did that or was it frankly a delinquency in training.”

Our investigation found more than a third of the stolen police guns in Tennessee were taken from officers’ personal cars and cruisers. Seven of those guns were stolen in our region, including two last month stolen from a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper’s cruiser in Gray.

Of the two dozen police guns stolen from cars in Tennessee going back to 2010, agencies disciplined at least three officers and opened internal investigations on another two.

As we reported Thursday, a rookie Elizabethton officer left his gun in his personal SUV in 2010. More than four years after a thief stole that gun, a felon used the gun in a federal crime on Spring Street in Johnson City, according to federal court records.

Sen. Lundberg said he knows the importance of securing his guns, particularly in his car.

“I would challenge you on my car,” he said. “I’ll give you the keys. You go rummage through it and I’ll give you a minute to find it. You probably won’t be able to.”

He was right. We looked, but couldn’t find his handgun.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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