WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and 20 colleagues reintroduced the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2023 to address the unacceptably 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 crime wave across Democrat-controlled cities is made worse by criminals stealing and circulating firearms, not law-abiding Americans exercising their constitutional right to bear arms,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Criminals who steal guns need more than a slap on the wrist, this bill increases penalties for those endangering our communities.”
“I am proud to reintroduce this important legislation to make ‘smash-and-grabs’ more costly for criminals, especially when crime is rising under the Biden Administration,” said Senator Graham. “I believe in responsible gun ownership – not criminals stealing firearms.”
Cassidy and Graham were joined by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Ted Budd (R-NC) in cosponsoring the legislation.
The FFL Protection Act of 2023:
- Increases the statutory maximum penalty for knowingly stealing any firearm in an FFL’s business inventory from 10 to 20 years.
- Imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years for burglary from an FFL and 5 years for robbery from an FFL.
- Criminalizes the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector.