WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2023, legislation to address the high number of “smash-and-grab” thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers by enhancing penalties for criminals who steal firearms from authorized firearms and ammunition merchants.
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.
“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,” Boozman said.
“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. I believe in responsible gun ownership – not criminals stealing firearms,” Graham said.
Boozman 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), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), 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).
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.
The legislation is supported by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF).