According to reports, less than 40 percent of the long guns reported stolen to law enforcement in 2010 included an accurate description and serial number.
Without an accurate identification of these guns, law enforcement officials say that they face considerable obstacles in investigating thefts and identifying stolen guns when they are recovered.
The New York State Police Troop "B" Gun Investigation Unit works closely with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and recommends using a form distributed by ATF called a "Personal Firearms Record" to create an inventory of a gun collection.
A closer look at the numbers shows that 15 guns were reported stolen in Clinton County last year - six were recovered.
In Essex County, seven guns were reported stolen and two were recovered. In neighboring Franklin County, 14 guns were reported stolen and just one was recovered.
St. Lawrence County had 63 reports of stolen firearms - 31 of those were recovered. Finally, in Hamilton County, three firearms were stolen and none were found.