U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) recently joined Senate colleagues in reintroducing legislation to increase criminal penalties for those who steal firearms from federally licensed firearms and ammunition dealers (FFL).

The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2023 would expand definitions, create mandatory sentencing and double the maximum penalties for those who steal firearms from FFL.

The legislation was introduced by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), along with Tuberville and 21 other co-sponsors, including U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Graham introduced similar legislation in 2021, which never received a vote on the Senate floor.  

"Ask police officers and they will tell you: many of today's gun crimes are committed with stolen guns," Tuberville said in a statement. "We need to protect the Second Amendment for law-abiding people and ensure that criminals get the justice they deserve. This bill will keep criminals who use stolen guns where they belong: behind bars."

The FFL Protection Act of 2023:

  • Doubles 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 three years for burglary from an FFL and five years for robbery from an FFL.

  • Criminalizes the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), from 2017 to 2021, 5,395 FFL theft incidents were reported. During these incidents, 34,339 firearms were stolen from FFLs.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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