WASHINGTON — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) today is commending U.S. Rep. Steve Russell’s (R-Okla.) introduction of the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2017, which will strengthen the criminal penalties for thefts of firearms from retailers and impose mandatory minimum sentences.
“Thefts from federally licensed firearms retailers represent particularly brazen offenses that hold potential for additional crime when stolen guns are sold on the street,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel “The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act is a significant reinforcement of our federal laws to help deter both first-time and repeat violators and to ensure those convicted of these crimes serve serious time. We thank Congressman Russell for his leadership to help make America safer.”
“Our federal firearms licensees are some of the most law-abiding citizens in the country,” Rep. Russell said. “We must correct lapses in our laws to prevent criminals from stealing their guns and threatening our public safety.”
Rep. Russell’s proposed legislation would impose a minimum sentence for a successful conviction of not less than three years for burglary and five years for robbery of a firearms retailer, ranges that rent firearms, shooting clubs and licensed collectors.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reported a 48 percent increase in the number of burglaries and a 175 percent in the number of robberies over the past five years. In 2016, about 7,758 firearms were stolen from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in burglaries and robberies.
The firearms industry through NSSF is an active partner in helping to reduce thefts and aiding ATF in identifying those involved in these crimes. As part of Operation Secure Store, NSSF helps educate FFLs on steps they can take to reduce theft. NSSF, in cooperation with ATF, also conducts retailer store security seminars, assists retailers with store security audits, encouraging the use of methods and technologies to reduce the likelihood firearms will be stolen. NSSF also continues to match ATF reward offers for information that leads to the arrest of criminals responsible for thefts from FFLs.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, visit http://www.nssf.org.