Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Sen. Graham as well as others to introduce Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith got behind an effort called the Federal Fireamrs Licensee Protection Act of 2021 (FFL). This bill will help fight the “smash-and-grab” type thefts that are impacting federally licensed gun dealers.

The bill was introduced Thursday by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and would help strengthen the penalties for those who steal firearms from licensed gun dealers. There were a reported 6,269 firearms stollen nationwide from FFL’s in burglaries and robberies in just 2020. This included 223 in Mississippi, according the to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“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,” Hyde-Smith said.

The FFL Protection Act of 2021 would:

  • Increase the statutory maximum penalty for knowingly stealing any firearm in an FFL’s business inventory from 10 to 20 years.
  • Impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years for burglary from an FFL and 5 years for robbery from an FFL.
  • Criminalize the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector.

There has been a 43% increase in FFL burglaries and a 15% decrease in FFL robberies from 2019 to 2020. While robberies have gone down, the number of firearms taken has gone up by 52%.

U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).