PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - In the hustle and bustle of a busy Northeast Philadelphia gun show, an AR-15 was swiped right off of a table Sunday.
Now, police are trying to track down that military-style weapon and the person who took it, FOX 29's Jeff Cole reports.
The promoter of the weekend gun show at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory, located on the Roosevelt Boulevard at Southampton Road, says security was tight. There was security at the doors as well as agents on the floor of the gun show.
Philadelphia police say there are enough illegal guns on the streets of this city. They certainly don't need one more.
"It's a military-style weapon, and it's very high-powered," said Northeast Detectives Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum. "These bullets can go through body armor, they can go through vehicles. And that's our concern. We don't want these guns to wind up in the wrong hands."
It happened at noon when gun dealer Michael Jones, of Northeast Firearms, located in Honesdale, Pa., alerted law enforcement that his black, Barrett AR-15 was gone.
Agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office locked down the National Guard Armory and scoured inside and out to no avail.
Police say the rifle – which can be separated into smaller parts – could have been lifted as much as two hours earlier.
"He noticed around noon, with a two-hour window, that one of the guns had disappeared off the table," Rosenbaum said. The thing that concerns us the most is an assault rifle, an AR-15."
On the phone, a worker with NE Firearms – who wouldn't give his name – said he "lost an expensive weapon" and was "surprised law enforcement didn't see it" and hung up saying he had "bigger issues to deal with."
Some dealers chain their weapons and roll cameras on them to keep thieves away, police say. None were used this time.
"We did, you know, voice our opinion to him that he should have had these things secured down," Rosenbaum said.
"And he didn't, he did not have them secured?" Cole asked.
"He did not," Rosenbaum said.
"So, he didn't have them chained, no video running on his purchasers?" Cole followed-up.
"No, not on his table, no," Rosenbaum said.
Published reports indicate that Jones had his federal firearms license revoked while running a prior business. He did get it back and was a licensed federal firearms license holder at the time this gun went missing Sunday.
The chains on the guns and the video cameras rolling on the transaction are not required. But police believe the dealer would have been well-handled if he did have them. And the delay in reporting is what police believe allowed the thief to get away.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says any federal firearms licensee who has knowledge of the theft or loss of any firearms from their inventory must report that within 48 hours of discovery to the ATF as well as local law enforcement.