Cassidy, Graham, Senators Reintroduce Legislation to Increase Penalties for Robbing Gun Stores
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and 19 colleagues today reintroduced the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2021 to address the rapid increase in the number of “smash-and-grab” thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers. The legislation 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, and criminalizes the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reported a 43 percent increase in the number of FFL burglaries and a 15 percent decrease in the number of FFL robberies from 2019 to 2020. While the number of robberies decreased, the number of firearms taken during robberies increased by 53 percent. In 2020, 6,269 firearms were taken in nationwide FFL burglaries and robberies.
“While Democrats are going after the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, criminals are stealing and circulating firearms contributing to the crime wave across Democrat-controlled cities. This legislation addresses the real cause of gun violence in our nation,” 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,” said Senator Graham. “I believe in responsible gun ownership – not criminals stealing firearms.”
Along with Cassidy and Graham, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).
“With crime rates rapidly escalating, it is imperative we increase penalties for those who break the law by stealing firearms. The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act will help deter gun theft and ensure offenders are held fully responsible. I am pleased to join this common-sense effort to protect not only federally licensed retailers but also our communities,” said Senator Blackburn.
“Criminals who target licensed firearms dealers need to be held accountable and face strong penalties. I’m proud to support this legislation so we can safeguard our communities and prevent the possession of illegal firearms,” said Senator Boozman.
“I am a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, but I will not tolerate criminals who steal firearms,” said Senator Capito. “With burglaries and robberies of gun dealerships and manufacturers on the rise, I’m proud to help reintroduce this legislation to deter would-be criminals and keep our communities safe.”
“Stealing a firearm from a business is not only wrong, it also makes it harder for law enforcement to track individuals who later use that weapon to commit a crime,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would help ensure criminals think twice before stealing firearms from federally licensed gun dealers.”
“Democrats are determined to restrict Second Amendment rights for law-abiding gun owners but haven’t taken action to hold criminals accountable,” said Senator Cotton. “Violent crime is rising and criminals, especially those who steal firearms, must face serious consequences.”
“As violent crime rates continue to rise, it’s important we work to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals without diminishing the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves,” said Senator Cramer. “Our legislation would discourage bad actors from stealing firearms by ensuring they would have to pay a high price for their actions.”
“The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. It does not protect the rights of those committing firearm theft and other crimes while seeking to cause harm to others,” said Senator Crapo. “This common sense legislation protects firearms dealers and holds perpetrators of crime accountable for their despicable actions.”
“As crime rates rise across Montana, we must ensure firearms don’t fall into the hands of criminals. I’m glad to introduce this bill that will support our law enforcement officers and hold criminals accountable while increasing public safety,” said Senator Daines.
“Protecting Americans from criminal violence should not mean going after law-abiding firearms owners. This bill targets actual criminals who steal guns from licensed dealers and increases penalties for those who would do harm to the innocent,” said Senator Hawley.
“Criminals who burglarize, rob, and steal from federally licensed firearm retailers must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to help prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands. Enhancing criminal penalties should help take these violent criminals off our streets and increase public safety,” said Senator Hyde-Smith.
“Theft of firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFLs) has increased substantially in the last few years—with more than 7,000 thefts in 2020 alone,” said Senator Inhofe. “The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act protects our families and will help reduce the number of guns falling into the hands of criminals. By strengthening criminal penalties for theft of a firearm, we can better deter future burglaries and robberies of FFLs.”
“Anyone who steals a firearm from a federally licensed firearm seller should face serious criminal penalties,” said Senator Rubio. “This legislation would increase federal penalties to help address the growing number of thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers.”
“Protecting Second Amendment rights is always a top priority of mine. It’s important that we protect gun shops from those who target their store and that we protect every citizen from illegal guns on the streets.” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation will enhance criminal penalties for those who steal a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer. I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation, and am working to ensure that law-abiding North Carolinians are safe from firearm theft.”
“As crime increases across our nation under the Biden Administration, law abiding businesses like gun stores and pawn shops are seeing a dramatic rise in firearm theft by criminals and gang members,” said Senator Tuberville. “An increase in illegal and untraceable firearms on our streets means a decrease in the safety of American communities. I am proud to stand with my colleagues to crack down on the penalties for those who break the law and undermine our public safety.”
Next Article Previous Article