June 9, 2023

Ricketts, Colleagues Re-Introduce Bill to Combat ‘Smash and Grab’ Gun Thefts

June 9, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) joined 21 of his colleagues in re-introducing the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act to combat the increase in the number of “smash-and-grab” thefts at federally-licensed gun dealers. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is the original sponsor of this legislation.

“The Second Amendment protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners, not criminals who steal firearms and hurt their neighbors,” said Senator Ricketts. “This legislation makes our communities safer by strengthening the penalties for those who commit ‘smash and grab’ thefts at federally licensed gun dealers. We must hold violent 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 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 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. Nebraska saw multiple smash and grab gun thefts last year involving dozens of weapons.

Other co-sponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).


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