July 12, 2017-
At 3 a.m. on November 29, an SUV plowed through the front door and window of the Tampa Arms Company, a gun store in a Florida strip mall. Black-and-white security video of the burglary captured the vehicle smashing into the building, then a group of thieves in hoodies flooding the store. They made off with 42 guns, including handguns, shotguns, and AR-15 assault-style rifles. It took a little over a week for one of those Tampa Arms guns to turn up in a homicide investigation in Orlando.
On December 10, police in nearby Polk County arrested two teenagers for the murder of 27-year-old Kendra Lewis, who was shot in a gas station parking lot as she sat in her car with her 5-year-old daughter. Thom Hauser, co-owner of Tampa Arms Company, wouldn’t comment on the Lewis case, but he observes that gun-store owners are in a “tough situation” when it comes to how stolen firearms are used.