Family’s custom firearms stolen during target shoot competition in Nashville

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nearly 600 guns have been stolen from vehicles this year in Nashville, according to Metro Police, and four of them belonged to the Murphy family.

“I would say there was close to 2,000 people there at the time this happened within 100 to 200 yards of the truck,” said Jeff Murphy.

The Murphys came to town for their son’s state scholastic target shoot competition at Nashville Gun Club.

The family lives in Maryville, so we caught up with them via FaceTime about the robbery happened in June.

“It started to rain, stormed pretty bad that night. Tate and I had taken the guns back to truck to get them out of the rain,” explained Murphy.

When Jeff Murphy’s son Tate went back to the truck about a half hour later, he noticed it was ransacked and their guns were stolen: two competition shotguns and two pistols.

“We’re, in total, out $5,000 out of pocket on this,” said Murphy.

It would have been much more if the shotguns had not been insured, which covered some of the cost. It took three months for new custom firearms to be remade.

“We are thinking they used some kind of unlocking device to unlock the door (because) the truck was locked,” recalled Murphy.

Murphy family stolen guns

“Some of these thieves are amazing; they are very talented at what they do,” said Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Jenny Charles. “It takes a matter of seconds to lift up someone’s door handle, duck in the car and snatch what they want. If the car is locked, it will slow them down but they all have methods of getting in locked cars, these are professionals.”

Statistics from Metro police indicate gun thefts from vehicles have steadily climbed over the past five years.

“I think that the large numbers are directly attributed to the law change in 2014, which now allows permit holders or non-permit holders to leave loaded guns unattended in a car and suffer no consequence,” said Charles. “Just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. This law, in my opinion, has been a public safety as well as a public health disaster.”

Charles said if you insist on leaving your gun in your car, lock it in a safe then lock your doors. You can purchase safes online or we found several options available in store at Nashville Armory.

“That was the first thing I ordered when I came home; I now have a vault under the back seat of my truck,” said Murphy. “They’re not terribly expensive and in most cases, the vault would be less than the deductible on your insurance.”

The Murphys said they still feel violated by the theft, but they’re spreading the word about the importance of securing your firearms everywhere you go.

The Davidson County District Attorney’s office is giving away free gun locks. That will prevent your gun from being used if it gets in the wrong hands. You can stop by the office at 222 Second Avenue North in downtown Nashville to pick up the free locks.

For more information about gun safes available at Nashville Armory, click here.

News 2 digs deeper into the disturbing trend of stolen guns, the impact on the area and the effect on crime rates. Watch our special reports “Guns of Nashville” all day Thursday in every newscast. Plus, stay tuned for a half-hour special Sunday, September 22 at 4:30 p.m. Click here for more.

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