Hyde-Smith Joins Sen. Graham, Others to reintroduce ‘Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) has joined in reintroducing the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2023 to address the rapid increase in the number of “smash-and-grab” thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday reintroduced his measure (S.1907) to increase the maximum penalties for firearm thefts from FFL gun dealers.  Hyde-Smith also cosponsored this legislation in the 117th Congress in response to persistent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports on FFL burglaries.

“Tens of thousands of firearms stolen from federally-licensed firearm retailers are certainly contributing to rising violent crime rates in recent years.  Stiffening penalties for these crimes should help increase public safety, curb these thefts, and take violent criminals off our streets,” Hyde-Smith 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” said Graham.  “I believe in responsible gun ownership – not criminals stealing firearms.”

The 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.  Mississippi saw 1,023 firearms stolen in 157 thefts from FFLs from 2017 to 2021, ranking it among the top 10 states for such incidences.

The FFL Protection Act of 2023, which is supported by the National Sports Shooting Foundation, would:

  • Increase the statutory maximum penalty for knowingly stealing any firearm in an FFL’s business inventory from 10 to 20 years.
  • Impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years for burglary from an FFL and 5 years for robbery from an FFL.
  • Criminalize the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector.

Hyde-Smith is among 22 original cosponsors, including  U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Ted Budd (R-N.C).