Congressman Russell Introduces Bill to Curb Theft of Firearms
Washington, DC – Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) today introduced the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2017, a bill to enhance penalties for theft of a firearm from certain federal firearms licensees (FFLs), and to criminalize the theft of a firearm from a gun range or shooting club.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that FFLs nationwide have seen a 48 percent increase in firearms burglaries over the past five years. Firearms robberies have increased by 175 percent during that same period. Roughly 7,758 firearms were stolen from FFLs in burglaries and robberies in 2016. The ATF and the firearms industry are rightly concerned by these statistics.
In order to curb this alarming trend, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2017 would strengthen criminal penalties for theft of firearms from FFLs and impose mandatory minimum sentences for these crimes. This legislation would send a strong message to criminals to think twice before attempting to burglarize or rob FFLs. The theft of firearms is a serious threat to public safety. Deterrence of firearm theft will prevent firearms from falling into criminal hands.