WASHINGTON, D.C.–U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined 21 Senators to reintroduce the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2023. The legislation addresses the high number of “smash-and-grab” thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers by enhancing penalties for criminals who steal firearms from federally licensed firearms and ammunition dealers.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) reported that from 2017 to 2021, 5,395 FFL theft incidents were reported. During these incidents, a total of 34,339 firearms were stolen from FFLs. Theft from FFLs account for three percent of all firearms stolen in the United States, and many of these firearms end up being used in other crimes.
The legislation, led by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ted Budd (R-North Carolina).
“Protecting the Second Amendment means upholding the rights of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms,” said Crapo. “This legislation protects those citizens and holds criminals who commit firearm theft accountable.”
“Serious crimes require serious punishments,” said Risch. “Theft of a firearm certainly warrants substantial punishments for the criminal, which is why I’m proud to join Senators Graham and Crapo in introducing the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act. Our bill will protect our licensed firearms dealers and hold criminals accountable.”
The FFL Protection Act of 2023:
- Increases the statutory maximum penalty for knowingly stealing any firearm in an FFL’s business inventory from ten to 20 years.
- Imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of three years for burglary from an FFL and five years for robbery from an FFL.
- Criminalizes the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or collector.
The legislation is supported by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF).
“This is what true gun safety legislation looks like. Senator Graham’s FFL Protection Act sends an unequivocal message to criminals intent on burglarizing and robbing firearm retailers that the safety of America’s communities is nonnegotiable,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Firearm Industry Trade Association. “This legislation sends a strong message to violent criminals engaging in these illicit activities that there will be accountability and consequences for their crimes. This legislation assigns the responsibility for the crime where it belongs – with the criminal. Senator Graham has been a staunch advocate of holding criminals accountable and protecting firearm retailers. This legislation does both. This legislation is real solution that will make our communities safer.”