ATLANTA (CBS46)—Atlanta police officers are issuing an urgent warning to gun owners.

According to a police spokesperson, since January 2021, there have been 827 guns stolen out of vehicles in the city of Atlanta.

In a Facebook post, an official wrote “Irresponsible gun owners, and criminals with guns make our city unsafe.”

Officers are asking people gun owners to do one of two things: either secure their weapons with a locking device or remove guns from cars when unattended.

“Giving criminals easy access to weapons to commit more crimes is a detriment to all of us.”

In addition, a police spokesperson said immature gun owners who lack conflict resolution skills are equally dangerous to the city. “These are the folks who resort to picking up a gun to resolve disagreements, vs using communication or having the wherewithal to simply walk away. People like this make all of us unsafe,” an Atlanta police spokesperson said.

This urgent plea from police comes as the city is experiencing a dramatic increase in crime.

Earlier this month, Governor Brian Kemp met with local, state, and federal officials to address crime in metro Atlanta.

Atlanta officers said there are simple things citizens can do to help decrease crime in the city.

“We remind you that there are simple things like practicing responsible gun safety, choosing to deescalate situations rather than shooting someone, securing your vehicles, and paying attention to your surroundings are all things that can make a difference. And while not all crimes are preventable, what we know for sure is, the 827 guns that were stolen from cars, was preventable and many of the shootings that started as arguments or disagreements are preventable. Some things just do not have to be.”

Atlanta police are asking witnesses to crimes to call 911 or call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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