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Feds Give Gun Stores Few Security Mandates

Eight guns are missing and the person or people who stole them are still at large after an early Sunday morning burglary at The Gun Shop in Idaho Falls.

Buying a firearm can be an extensive process, but what kind of security is there at stores before it’s sold?

Federal regulations are pretty minimal, requiring things like bars on the windows. The Gun Shop owners say after Sunday’s break-in, they’ve already placed their order for security cameras.

If you drive by the store you’ll see a boarded up entrance, dimmed storefront and the sign that says it all: closed due to burglary.

?I guess I’m surprised that somebody would have that type of disrespect,? co-owner Brian Birch said.

Police are still looking for whomever who backed a car into the brick building and got away with several guns worth an estimated $9,000.

For some reason the thief decided to bust the glass on top of the case.

Buying a gun the legal way requires jumping through hoops of background checks for clearance and, to carry concealed, getting finger printed and photographed.

But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives only requires the store to have well-locked doors, a well-lit area and barred windows.

The ATF inspects stores when they first open. Beyond those standards, owners can take further precautions, like alarm systems and security cameras at their own discretion.

?I think it’s probably a good idea, but there?s ways around security cameras, too,? gun and pawn shop owner Alan Steel said.

Steel said he believes there are enough regulations. He credits his store’s security to its location across the street from a 24-hour Walmart.

?It?s busy,? Steel said. ?Someone?s around all the time, so that does help us quite a bit.?

Retailers said they do everything short of living at their store, but until the wall is rebuilt at The Gun Shop, owners will be doing just that from the comforts of a camper parked in front of the store.

The Gun Shop is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

Contact the store directly, or call Crimestoppers at 522-1983.

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