WLBT-TV Jackson

Sen. Hyde-Smith cosponsors bill to combat ‘smash-and-grab’ gun thefts

By Kailynn Johnson

WASHINGTON, Miss. (WLBT) - U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith threw her support behind the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2021, on Thursday, July 23.

The bill’s purpose is to combat the increase of “smash-and-grab” thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers.

Introduced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the measure would strengthen the maximum penalties for firearm thefts from licensed gun dealers.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported over 6,000 firearms taken nationwide in burglaries and robberies in 2020.

223 firearms were reported stolen from FFLs in Mississippi.

“Criminals who burglarize, rob, and steal from federally licensed firearm retailers must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to help prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands,” said Hyde-Smith.

“Enhancing criminal penalties should help take these violent criminals off our streets and increase public safety.”

The FFL Protection Act of 2021 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 three 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.